COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // JANUARY 28, 2016

News You Can Use:

Common Core Ballot Question Threatens Student Progress
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
A ballot measure that seeks to repeal Common Core State Standards in Massachusetts would have “a devastating impact” on public schools. The move would force schools back into the state’s old standards, which are not aligned with college and career expectations; throw out educators’ and students’ preparation over the past six years; and squander the professional development school districts have invested. “If proponents of the ballot measure are truly interested in ensuring Massachusetts has the best standards, they could have a much more positive impact” by refining and building on the current standards. Mike Petrilli has noted that it is impossible for states to develop college- and career-ready standards that look nothing like the Common Core, because it “represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed.“

Fact-Checking Trump’s New Anti-Common Core Video
Washington Post
Donald Trump’s pledge that “We’re going to end Common Core” ignores that the “federal government doesn’t have the power to get rid of Common Core” because the standards were voluntarily adopted and implemented by states, Emma Brown reports. No Child Left Behind forbade federal authorities from setting standards, and the Every Student Succeeds Act goes further to prevent intrusion. In a recent memo, Karen Nussle explains, the ESSA “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.”

Marco Rubio Once Supported Ideas behind Common Core
Breitbart News
Senator Marco Rubio, who has been critical of Common Core State Standards and pledged to repeal them if elected, once supported the Race to the Top program, which is the principal driver behind conservative opposition. “[Rubio’s] past views…will likely draw concerns from voters looking for greater consistency,” the article concludes. While the article mischaracterizes the Common Core in many ways, including calling it a federal initiative, it pulls back the curtain on candidates’ political pandering on the issue. Last year, Karen Nussle noted, “For most voters, and certainly for families who want the best for their children, [Common Core] standards are not a disqualifying issue. In fact, for candidates who are able to articulate the value of high, comparable academic expectations, they may prove to be an important asset.”


Correcting the Record:

Common Core Attacks All the Rage for Trump, Republicans
CNN
Criticism of Common Core State Standards has become a red meat line for Republican presidential candidates, the article claims. “Common Core-bashing is a staple for almost every Republican candidate. The issue is synonymous among conservatives with Obama and the expansion of government.” While mischaracterizations of the Common Core have created aversion to the term, parents and voters continue to strongly support rigorous, consistent education standards and high-quality assessments. Here is where some get it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/common-core-republican-candidates-election-education-standards/


On Our Reading List:

Senate Panel Approves Bill to Make ACT or SAT Option Instead of FSA
Orlando Sentinel
A Senate education panel voted unanimously to support a bill that would allow students to take alternative tests like the SAT or ACT in place of the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). The legislation, introduced by state Sen. Don Gaetz, doesn’t do away with the FSA but gives school districts the option to use either the SAT or ACT instead. The bill could face troubles in the State House, the article reports. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has questioned the proposal because she believes the alternative tests are not aligned with Florida’s education standards.