COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // MARCH 8, 2016

News You Can Use:

Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Common Core (and Neither Do His Rivals) | New York Times
Donald Trump and other conservatives that pledge to repeal Common Core State Standards are “promising to solve a problem that doesn’t exist by using power the president doesn’t have,” writes Kevin Carey, education policy director at New America. “The president can’t end the Common Core, because the federal government didn’t create the Common Core.” The Every Student Succeeds Act also ensures states retain full control over their education standards. Carey adds that good education standards are informed by what students need to know and be able to do to succeed at college and in competitive jobs. Mike Petrilli and Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute wrote earlier this year, Common Core State Standards “do a good job of incorporating the evidence on what it takes for students to be ‘college and career ready,’ and they get most of the big issues right.”

Academic Expectations around the Country, Updated for Common Core | US News & World Report 
Most states have increased expectations for students by implementing Common Core State Standards, but some still do not expect students to be on a trajectory of college and career readiness, according to an American Institutes for Research study. “States have in fact raised their standards, but they’re not as high as they should be, and they’re still varied,” says Gary Phillips, author of the report. “We may not be going in 50 different directions any more, but we do not have enough states setting high college-ready standards.” Phillips adds that proficiency benchmarks should be set high. “You can’t have it both ways. When you set high standards, you’re going to have failing children.” The follow-up Honesty Gap analysis this year found most states have begun to report proficiency rates more in line with NAEP, but it encouraged them to set high cut scores.


Correcting the Record:

Massachusetts Voters May Decide Future of Common Core | WWLP.com
Supporters of a ballot initiative that seeks to repeal Massachusetts’ Common Core standards called the learning goals “sinister” on Monday, and encouraged lawmakers to revert back to the state’s previous education standards. “The common theme here is that our state is doing worse, not better, since our state implemented Common Core,” said Diane Colorio, director of End Common Core Massachusetts. Another advocate for the ballot measure called the Common Core “an unholy alliance between the education industrial complex and our federal government.” In fact, Massachusetts voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards because they provide consistency across schools and allow educators to compare student development. Here is where the End Common Core Massachusetts initiative gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/why-massachusetts-ballot-initiative-to-repeal-common-core-is-a-bad-idea/


On Our Reading List:

Senate Panel Amends Common Core Bill | Times West Virginian
An education bill intended to repeal West Virginia’s Common Core State Standards and the aligned assessments was amended Monday by a Senate committee to instead establish a review of the state’s current standards. The legislature will create a panel that could propose changes to West Virginia’s education standards to the Board of Education. Lawmakers also struck opt-out language from the bill that would allow students to refuse state tests. The amended version passed committee on a split vote.

Will the New SAT Better Serve Poor Students? | The Atlantic 
The College Board, which develops the SAT exam, is hoping a major makeover of the assessment will make it more relevant to students and help to address diversity gaps on college campuses. “The SAT had gotten disconnected from the work of the American high school,” says David Coleman, president of the College Board. “We’ve tried to make it so that it looks a lot more like the work kids do in high school.” The revised exam has fewer questions, asks to student to explain some answers, cuts obscure vocabulary, eliminates penalties for guessing and includes an optional essay. “It’s not okay to tell someone to study something because it’s on a test. It’s only okay if they’ll use it again and again,” Coleman adds.

Governor Signs Bill to Cut Back on Standardized Tests | Albuquerque Journal 
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed into law a bill, effective in the 2016-17 school year, that will remove a requirement that ninth- and tenth-grade students take at least three periodic assessments during each year in reading and math. Students will still be required to take PARCC assessments. “That’s the desired effect of this, to reduce testing time,” said State Representative Andrés Romero.