COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // MARCH 7, 2016

News You Can Use:

Conservative Conference Misses Hispanics…Again | Christian Post
Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, writes that the Conservative Political Action Conference last week missed one issue critically important to Hispanic voters: education equality. “High academic standards which can be compared across states are a key step toward educational equity,” Rev. Rodriguez writes. “I ask conservatives and Republican candidates to embrace the critical need for higher academic standards so that our students improve their math and reading skills.” Like Rev. Rodriguez, Dr. Antipas Harris wrote in the Christian Post, “It is time we once again make rigorous academic expectations the touchstone of public education. That’s why I am such a strong supporter of Common Core State Standards.”

Donald Trump Is Wrong about Common Core—But He’s Not the Only Candidate Who Is | Washington Post
Three of the remaining four Republican presidential candidates have said they will end Common Core State Standards in office (Ohio Gov. Kasich supports the Common Core), but those pledges are disingenuous or misinformed, writes columnist Valerie Strauss. “If students in any state are being taught the Common Core State Standards, it is because their state legislatures approved it…No president can force the states to end Common Core.” Additionally, the Every Student Succeeds Act has reinforced local control in education. Strauss notes, “In other words, Congress has already done what the candidates say they would do.” In a memo late last year, Karen Nussle explained, the ESSA “forever ends what has long been an Achilles Heel of Common Core: federal entanglement through Race to the Top.”

Common Core Supports Great Teaching | Commonwealth Magazine
Justin Norton, an eighth-grade teacher in Boston, says he supports Massachusetts’ Common Core State Standards because they help students “make sense of their world in a way that values evidence and considers multiple perspectives.” “Common Core has become a popular whipping boy…[but] Common Core supports the practice of great teaching.” Norton adds it’s important parents understand the standards because of threats from a ballot initiative to repeal them. “Common Core takes on many forms in my classroom – and I assure you none of those methods come as a mandate from Washington.” Linda Noonan, executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, says the proposed ballot initiative would “turn back the clock on critical improvements that the majority of teachers and principals support.”

Who’s Really Opting Out Anyway? | The Seventy-Four
While opt-out efforts have garnered a lot of attention, a closer look shows opting out of state tests “has appealed only to a narrow demographic,” writes Caroline Bermudez, press secretary at Education Post. “In states with the largest number of opt-outs, students who chose not to take tests were mostly white and affluent.” Bermudez ends, “The quality of tests needs to improve, too, and we’re getting there with the new Common Core-aligned exams. But throwing out testing altogether isn’t as popular an idea as opt-out advocates would like us to believe.” Last year a group of leading civil and human rights organizations issued a statement supporting high-quality tests. “Kids who are not testing end up not counting,” said Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust.


Correcting the Record:

Elites vs. the People: How to Dismantle Common Core | Red Alert Politics
During an education panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project said, “Common Core exposes a rift between political elitists and the people.” McGroarty added that too little attention has been paid to the content quality of the standards, and state efforts have often resulted in rebranding instead of substantive changes. However, Common Core State Standards were developed by educators and experts from across the country, and states continue to refine and build on the standards, exactly as they were designed. Here is where McGroarty gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/common-core-state-standards-are-not-the-work-of-political-elitists/

Malkin: Kasich a Hypocrite on Common Core | The Hill
Last week, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin criticized Ohio Governor John Kasich for supporting Common Core State Standards. “[Kasich] pretended that he was on the side of local control. Ohio grassroots activists and moms know better,” Malkin claimed. While opposition to the Common Core may be a rallying cry for some conservatives like Malkin, parents strongly support rigorous academic expectations that prepare students for college and careers and high-quality assessments. Here is where Malkin gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/common-core-may-still-rally-some-activists-but-parents-and-teachers-strongly-support-college-and-career-ready-expectations/


On Our Reading List:

Student Reactions Following the First Administration of the New SAT | College Board
Following the first administration of the revamped SAT test, which was redesigned in part to better align with Common Core State Standards, a College Board survey of more than 8,000 students who took the test finds 71 percent say the new version reflects what they are learning in school. Nearly 60 percent said the math section tests what they need to know to prepare for college and careers. Changes to the test include a focus on math that matters most, an emphasis on more relevant vocabulary words, no penalty for guessing, and an optional essay, according to the College Board website.