COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // JANUARY 13, 2016
News You Can Use:
Military Families Need Common Core
US News & World Report
Military families move frequently—more than three times more often than non-military families on average—so Common Core State Standards are necessary to ensure their children have access to consistently high education, write retired Army Colonel David Sutherland and the Collaborative’s Jim Cowen. “Teaching students to these robust K-12 education standards – and assessing their progress – ensures that the children of our current service members and our veterans receive a high-quality education, no matter where they are.” Likewise, a Stimson Center report last year found that high, consistent education standards could affect the Army’s realignment decisions, because military members consider access to high-quality education when determining whether to continue their service.
Kentucky’s New Education Commissioner Outlines Priorities
Stephen Pruitt, Kentucky’s new education commissioner, says the state’s adoption of rigorous college- and career-ready standards paved the way for the big educational improvements the state has made. “It’s not because we’ve lowered standards, it’s actually because we have higher standards – but students have risen to that, our districts have risen to that, our superintendents [and] our teachers,” Pruitt says. The first state to adopt Common Core State Standards, Kentucky has achieved some of the biggest academic gains in the country, including steady increases in proficiency rates, college-readiness rates and graduation rates.
The Every Student Succeeds Act: A Promising Step toward Putting Students at the Center
The newly minted Every Student Succeeds Act “holds great promise for advancing public education” by growing “innovative, evidence-based, student-centered approaches to learning,” writes Nicholas Donohue, CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We must ensure that we are elevating the learning and readiness of graduates of all colors in all zip codes to combat the growing economic inequalities,” the piece adds. In a recent memo, Karen Nussle adds that ESSA is a win for state policymakers because it “forever ends what has long been an Achilles Heel of Common Core: federal entanglement through Race to the Top and secretarial waivers in state decisions surrounding the adoption of standards and the selection of aligned assessments.”
Correcting the Record:
Conservative Activist James O’Keefe Targets Common Core with New Hidden-Camera Video
On Tuesday, conservative activist James O’Keefe released a video that purports to show that textbook publishers embraced high academic standards because of their profit-making potential. In the video a Houghton-Mifflin account manager says, “It’s all about the money,” and, “You don’t think that educational publishing companies are in it for the education, do you?” The video disparages the countless educators who support high, consistent education standards, and underscores the importance of local control over curriculum and material decisions. Here is where the video get it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/common-core-video-footage-offensive-to-educators-importance-local-control-project-veritas/
On Our Reading List:
K-12 Still Struggling for Traction as Campaign Issue
Education policy has been largely ignored on the campaign trail in the current election cycle and could be “further marginalized” by recent developments, including the newly minted Every Student Succeeds Act, Andrew Ujifusa reports. “If education was going to get any traction in presidential politics, it was going to be over reconsideration of what we had to do about,” says William Howell, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “But that horse has left the barn.” So far, only one question has been asked about the Common Core during the Republican and Democratic debates. “Common Core is not an animating issue for the general public,” says Patrick McGuinn, an associate professor of political science at Drew University.
Teach Your Teachers Well
New York Times
Most New York teachers agree that Common Core State Standards are a step forward, but state officials must continue to develop a fair teacher evaluation system as educators adjust to the new learning goals and assessments, writes Shael Polakow-Suransky, president of the Bank Street College of Education. “New York’s tests are still dominated by multiple-choice questions that don’t measure this deeper learning. In many parts of the state, teachers did not have time to adapt their curriculums before new tests were used to evaluate them… We need to invest in teacher preparation and development.”