COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // MARCH 9, 2016

News You Can Use:

Wichita School Board Members Approve Resolution Against Bill to Repeal Common Core | KMUW NPR Wichita
Members of the Wichita Public School Board approved a resolution opposing a Kansas bill that seeks to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards. The Board members said the proposed legislation would impair districts’ ability to pick curriculum that meet student needs and that the Legislature is overstepping its bounds. “To throw [the Common Core] out, the baby out with the bathwater, and to start over again, we have nothing to teach,” said Lynn Rogers, one of the Board members. In a memo last year, Karen Nussle explained, “It is virtually impossible to produce a set of K-12 academic standards that both bear no resemblance to Common Core, and adequately prepare students for college and career.”

Trump Can’t End Common Core, New York Times Op-Ed Says | Times Picayune  
Donald Trump and other conservatives’ pledges to end Common Core State Standards are misinformed or disingenuous, Kevin Carey explains in the opinion pages of the New York Times. “The president can’t end the Common Core, because the federal government didn’t create the Common Core,” the piece states. “Governors and state boards of education developed and voluntarily adopted the standards.” Common Core State Standards “do a good job of incorporating the evidence of what it takes for students to be ‘college and career ready,’ and they get most of the big issues right,” Mike Petrilli and Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute wrote earlier this year. The Every Student Succeeds Act also ensures federal authorities have no control over which education standards states use, making arguments like Trump’s moot.

Education Must Be Allowed to Move Forward | West Virginian Register-Herald 
The editorial board applauds a move by lawmakers to amend a Senate bill to review, instead of repeal, West Virginia’s education standards. “This particular committee did something all legislators should have done long ago: listen to the experts and stop trying to micromanage a system in which they have no special skill or knowledge…Our State Board of Education can go back to its business of moving our education model forward…with a variation of the Common Core Standards in addition to Smarter Balanced assessments.” In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia lawyer Charles McElwee says lawmakers’ attempt to control the state’s education standards interferes with the State Board of Education’s responsibilities and is “unconstitutional.” A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success notes Oklahoma’s decision to repeal its Common Core State Standards “may have opened the door for greater politicization of education issues,” and should serve as a cautionary lesson for other states.


Correcting the Record:

‘Opting Out’ a Strong Backlash to Overzealous Standardized Testing | Bradenton Herald
Opting out of student assessments is “civil disobedience at its finest” and shows “families are putting some muscle behind their opposition” to testing policies, the editorial board argues. “Florida is cheating our children out of their education…We are obsessed with how well they test rather than how well they learn,” says Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall. What the editorial overlooks is that high-quality assessments are one of the best tools educators and parents have to measure student development, and opting out denies parents and teachers valuable information they need to ensure students are on track to graduate prepared for college or a career. Here is where the Bradenton Herald gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/high-quality-assessments-ensure-students-become-college-and-career-ready/


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Education Secretary Nominee Gets Collegial Senate Confirmation Hearing | Education Week
The Senate HELP Committee will vote this morning on the nomination of John B. King Jr. as U.S. Education Secretary. King appeared before committee on February 25, where he fielded questions on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and other policy issues. Lawmakers indicated he should have little trouble getting the final nod from the committee, Education Week reports. In his appearance before the HELP Committee, King agreed the new law is clear that federal authorities should have no influence over states’ education standards.

Legislation to Let Schools Use Tests Other than AzMERIT Passes | Arizona Republic
A bill that would allow Arizona schools to offer a “menu” of standardized tests gained final approval in the State Senate on Monday and will now go to Governor Doug Ducey for signature. The legislation would permit schools to use tests other than the current AzMERIT to assess students’ mastery of Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, which are based on the Common Core. It does not give parents the option of opting out their children from state tests, nor does it affect the state’s education standards. The AzMERIT test will continue to be offered as an option to schools, should the bill be signed into law.