News You Can Use:

Retired General: New Standards Won’t Challenge Oklahoma Students | The Oklahoman
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Spider Marks writes that Oklahoma’s new education standards, developed to replace the Common Core, “will not better prepare students for college or employment.” Gen. Marks has written before that high, consistent education standards are necessary to prepare students for success after high school, including in military service. Citing analysis by Achieve, Marks adds, “Oklahoma has now adopted standards that appear to be inferior in both math and English.” A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success concludes, “Replacing the Common Core State Standards invariably leads to either modest adjustments…or, academic standards that are inferior to the Common Core.”

Why Our Daughter Isn’t Opting Out of State Tests | Newsday
Randi Marshall, a New York parent, says her daughter will participate in state tests despite pressure from opt-out campaigns. “The opt-out movement pits parent against parent, and parent against teacher,” Marshall writes. “[Assessments] do matter, and should matter.” High-quality assessments are a necessary tool to empower parents and teachers to measure their children’s development, and to offer support where needed. “When we are finally going in the right direction, why would we even consider going back?” wrote Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, last year.

Correcting the Record:

What Happens When Parents Try to Do Common Core Math | Huffington Post
“Math sure isn’t what it used to be,” asserts Caroline Bologna, Huffington Post parent editor, in response to a Buzzfeed video that asks parents to try math problems aligned to Common Core State Standards. “Are you just trying to make me feel stupid,” one parent asks. “The idea that [my daughter] is learning math in a total different way is intimidating to me as a parent.” “I can’t tell you what the heck is going on,” says one dad. One mom just draws a middle finger. Understandably, approaches to problem-solving encouraged by the Common Core are unfamiliar to most parents who grew up under old models. But that’s not a bad thing. Here is where the video gets it wrong:

On Our Reading List:

The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview | Education Week
A look at the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law in December, notes the law “rolls back much of the federal government’s big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools.” The article provides a comprehensive outline of the impact the ESSA will have on multiple facets of education policy. The ESSA takes full effect in the 2017-18 school year.

Education Research Needs Data | US News & World Report
Michael Hansen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education, writes student-privacy concerns must be balanced with the benefits that data provide to inform education policy. “Education research relies heavily on student data, thus any changes to the law could have very serious implications…It’s important to note that personally identifiable data is generally not necessary for education policy research…I am optimistic that standardized, sensible safeguards can both maintain student privacy without making research irrelevant.”