COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // JUNE 22, 2016

News You Can Use:

 

No Kidding This Time / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Despite “scaretalk” about Common Core State Standards being a subversive plot, the standards have laid the groundwork for improvements in student performance, the editorial board writes. Likewise, assessments aligned to the standards have begun to provide parents and teachers with accurate, actionable information about students’ development towards college and career readiness. “Common Core will not address every concern about our educational system, but its equitable implementation will help pave the way to ensuring that all children have a fair shot at a high-quality education,” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, wrote previously.

Teacher Workshops to Become Smarter, Balanced / Statesman Journal
WestEd, a non-profit research and development organization, recently launched the Building Educator Assessment Literacy (BEAL) project—a workshop series to help teachers better understand and utilize student assessments through in-depth, hands-on training. “We realized we needed to listen to the teachers and help them focus on what’s best for their students and their learning experience,” says Jessica Arnold, a senior program associate. Across the country states and education advocates have partnered to provide supports to help teachers and parents improve assessments, creating tools like the “Testing Bill of Rights.”


 

Correcting the Record:

Where Does New York’s Parent-Led Opt Out Movement Go from Here?
Diane Ravitch’s Blog
The opt-out movement in New York has been effective and now has larger goals, argues Diane Ravitch. “Opt out leaders want a sweeping change in education policy, from scripted lessons and high-stakes testing to child-centered classrooms, where children are really put first, not test scores,” Ravitch claims. However, parents’ refusal to allow their children to participate in state assessments puts students at a loss and does little to improve testing policy. Here is where Ravitch gets it wrong:

Opt Out Efforts Put Students at Risk and Do Little to Improve Testing Policies

On her blog Diane Ravitch claims New York’s opt-out movement has been effective and now has larger goals. “Opt out leaders want a sweeping change in education policy, from scripted lessons and high-stakes testing to child-centered classrooms, where children are really put first, not test scores,” Ravitch argues.

Ravitch cites an article by the Long Island Press, which alleges opt-out efforts have been a “giant win” for activists. “Their message has been effective: No more Common Core,” the article states.

Many parents have expressed concerns about over testing. But those frustrations are directed at testing policy, not the Common Core, as Ravitch and others suggest. It is important to note that the Common Core State Standards are not a test or a testing regime. Testing policies are set by state and local authorities.


 

On Our Reading List:

Florida Department of Education Begins Collecting Public Input on Federal Accountability Law / Tampa Bay Times
The Florida Department of Education launched a website this week to collect public input about implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The page categorizes feedback by seven areas related to the law, as well as areas to comment on the draft regulations and the law in general. “As we continue through this process, there will be additional opportunities for stakeholders to offer suggestions,” said state education commissioner Pam Stewart. The deadline for comments is July 22.