COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // MARCH 16, 2016

News You Can Use:

The One Thing Trump and Cruz Keep Getting Wrong—That’s Not Being Fact Checked | Collaborative for Student Success
While objective analyses have rebuffed candidates’ claims they would end Common Core as President, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz have gone further to claim it is a “disaster.” But, 43 states, D.C., four territories and Department of Defense schools have adopted and implemented a common set of academic standards that meet college and career readiness benchmarks. “So, where is the failure they speak of?” the blog asks. “Instead of labeling the standards a ‘disaster’ before they’ve had time to work…Trump and Cruz should give them a chance.” Last fall Louisiana State Superintendent John White made a similar point: “States have adopted higher standards, states have tests that measure those standards and they’re comparable, so there can be an honest baseline… That is a fantastic success for each state and for America and its children.”

Is Your Child Being Prepared for Success? | WhyProficiencyMatters.com
Inconsistencies in academic expectations can produce wide discrepancies in what students learn from state to state, leaving some students at a disadvantage. Likewise, low “cut scores,” or proficiency benchmarks, can undermine the value of high-quality assessments. “Setting the academic bar at proficiency ensures students are on track for college or a career after graduation,” the site explains. WhyProficiencyMatters.com allows parents to compare each state’s reading and math proficiency requirements and to encourage policymakers to set targets high. Mike Petrilli and Robert Pondiscio wrote last year, “Most states set absurdly low academic standards before the Common Core, and their tests were even worse…Some tough questions might also be in order for your schools or school boards: Are their standards for grading too easy?”


Correcting the Record:

Creating Informed Citizens Should Be Education’s Goal | Education Week
A quality education should serve to prepare young people to fulfill their civic duties, but Common Core State Standards are “silent on the skills and knowledge needed” to do so, argues Arnold Packer, a former assistant secretary of labor. “But because citizenship is not explicit in the standards for math and reading—the subjects covered by Common Core—no one knows how many schools succeed in preparing students.” Contrary to Packer’s claim, Common Core State Standards help ensure students are fully prepared to participate in society by setting consistent learning goals that prepare them for success after high school. Here is where Packer gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/common-cores-english-and-math-standards-prepare-students-to-be-good-citizens/


On Our Reading List:

Massachusetts Seeking Help in Designing New MCAS Exams | Associated Press
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education formally requested proposals from private companies to help develop the “next-generation MCAS” test. Last fall, state officials voted to create a hybrid exam that will incorporate elements of the previous MCAS test and the PARCC assessment. Officials say they hope to have the statewide computer-based testing in place by 2019.

No Federal Penalty for Nevada’s Common Core Testing Meltdown | Associated Press
Last week the U.S. Department of Education gave Nevada a rare exemption from the federal requirement that at least 95 percent of students participate in statewide tests after technical malfunctions caused many students to not finish the assessments. “We are pleased with this result. We think it’s fair,” said Steve Canavero, Nevada’s state superintendent.

Five Reasons Why John King Is the Change Agent We Need at the Department of Education | The Seventy-Four
Charles Sahm, director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute, writes that recently confirmed Education Secretary John King is “the right man for the challenge” of implementing changes from the Every Student Succeeds Act. “King was a thoughtful leader of the New York Department of Education during a period of unprecedented change…He is a champion and cheerleader for strong educators,” the piece states. It adds that King is a supporter of Common Core and will ensure that debate is handled by states, not federal authorities. “It’s time for a truce in the ed wars, and King seems as likely a figure as any to negotiate the terms.”

Common Science Standards Quietly Gain Momentum | Education Writers Association
Next Generation Science Standards, a set of common education standards for science, are gaining traction among states. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards, which emphasize critical thinking, arguing from evidence and learning key concepts in greater depth. While many educators and experts applaud the Next Generation Standards for engaging more students, others say they fail to include important concepts.