COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // MAY 26, 2016
News You Can Use:
In California, Common Core Opposition Rooted in Disapproval of Obama / Education Week
Most of the opposition to Common Core State Standards is attributable to disapproval of President Obama’s performance, a study of California residents by the University of Southern California finds. Voters who disapprove of President Obama are 92 percent more likely to oppose the standards. “The results of the upcoming presidential election may decrease opposition somewhat,” the study notes. The Obama Administration’s implicit endorsement of the Common Core was a mistake, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote last year, but the standards remain a state-led effort. Karen Nussle explains parents are committed to rigorous college- and career-ready expectations and the Every Student Succeeds Act ensures states have full control over their learning goals.
Correcting the Record:
Long Island’s Opt Out Movement Has Made the Grade—Now What? / Long Island Press
Opt-out efforts in Long Island, New York culminated in a “giant win” for activists, and supporters are still demanding changes, even if it’s unclear what those goals are, the Long Island Press reports. “The bottom line is that some of these big wins could mean huge, sweeping changes for some districts,” argues Jeanette Deutermann, a local opt-out leader. “We have to change the narrative back to focus on teaching and learning, and less on one Kodak moment to capture all that work,” says Betty Rosa, chancellor of the Board of Regents. However, high-quality assessments like those in New York provide parents and teachers with accurate information that helps ensure student are able to get and stay on a path towards college and career readiness. Here is where the opt-out movement gets it wrong:
Opt-Out Efforts Undermine Parents’ and Teachers’ Access to Accurate Information about Student Readiness
Opt-out efforts in Long Island, New York culminated in a “giant win” for activists, and supporters are still demanding changes, even if it’s unclear what those goals are, the Long Island Press reports. “[Parents’] message has been effective: No more Common Core.”
However, parents’ frustrations—which have compelled many to get behind the opt-out movement—aren’t directed at the Common Core. They are with testing policy, which is set by the state officials and entirely different from the state’s Common Core Standards.
“There is no such thing as a ‘Common Core testing regime.’ Common Core is not a test,” a recent analysis by the Collaborative for Student Success explains. “Testing policy is set by authorities at the state and local level.”
New York chose not to use PARCC or Smarter Balanced assessments, which most closely measure the content of the Common Core State Standards—making the claim opt-out supporters are rejecting the Common Core even more misleading.
Jeanette Deutermann, an opt-out leader in Long Island, claims the efforts aim to change policy. “The bottom line is that some of these big wins could mean huge, sweeping changes for some districts.” But, as the article acknowledges, there is little consensus about what those goals are.
“Let’s be clear: there are constructive ways to improve education and accountability policies. Opting out is not one of them,” former Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote earlier this year. “Refusing to participate in assessments puts students, parents and teachers at a disadvantage, and it does little to address legitimate concerns about the quality and volume of state tests.”
On Our Reading List:
Rules Proposed for School Accountability / Associated Press
U.S. Education Secretary John King will release the Education Department’s proposed rules for accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act this afternoon. The guidelines would allow states to design accountability systems that consider other measures besides test scores and high school graduation rates. The rules would also require states and districts to design multi-level and comprehensive ratings systems for schools. “These regulations give states the opportunity to work with all of their stakeholders…to protect all students’ right to a high-quality education that prepares them for college and careers, including the most vulnerable,” said Sec. King.
Tennessee education commissioner Candice McQueen announced Wednesday the state will reconvene a task force to study the state’s student assessment policies. McQueen formed the task force last year to review the amount and quality of state tests. The committee developed 16 recommendations to guide policy, including a reduction of the number of tests. “Reconvening this group of leaders across the state, in addition to welcoming new members, gives us an opportunity to continue the dialogue around creating intentional and streamlined assessments,” McQueen said.