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The Empire State’s Affirmation of Common Core
Collaborative for Student Success
New York is the latest state to revise and build on Common Core State Standards, a process that will maintain the high quality and rigor that have distinguished the new standards, Karen Nussle writes in a new memo. “Common Core is persevering because parents fundamentally want their kids to be prepared for all the choices and opportunities available to them after graduation.” In a separate piece, Center for American Progress notes that a new survey in New York, in which more than 10,000 residents weighed in, shows more than 70 percent of respondents have a positive view of the Common Core, but because many misperceptions still persist “it’s no surprise” that some states have made alterations to the standards but kept the substance.

Why I’m Optimistic About Standards-Based Reform
Education Week
Standards-based education reform promises to improve educational outcomes by focusing instruction, providing better progression of learning and emphasizing the skills students need, writes Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California. “Does standards-based reform and accountability improve student outcomes? I would say there is no reasonable way to read the literature and conclude the answer is anything other than ‘yes.’” Polikoff’s statements are consistent with the research: support for high, consistent standards, by any name, remains strong across the country.

Question for Presidential Candidates: What About Education?
Las Vegas Sun
Ahead of last night’s GOP presidential debate, Nelly Escobar, a Hispanic fourth-grade teacher, writes that education is a top priority for the Hispanic community, which is “disproportionately impacted by unequal access and low standards.” “We must continue to implement high standards of learning for students from elementary school through high school so they’re genuinely prepared for college.” Escobar reiterates the message that civil rights groups and minority leaders have long advocated: That high, consistent education standards and high-quality assessments are necessary to ensure all students receive an education that prepares them for college and careers.

PARCC Tests, Common Core Make Sense for Education System
Greeley Tribune
As most states implement rigorous, consistent education standards and comparable student assessments, the United States is “now on the verge of [an educational] renaissance,” writes Terry Jones, a Colorado math teacher. “Common Core State Standards and a common annual assessment finally allows the United States’ education system to move in accord with a common goal of increasing rigor and accountability of students learning.” While the rollout of new education standards and assessments has not been perfect, the miscues are not reason to turn back, Jones adds. “Our only other choice is to revert back to a fractured system that leaves too many students behind.”

Colorado’s Pick for Education Commissioner on Common Core, Teacher Evaluations and Turnaround
Chalkbeat Colorado
Richard Crandall, the man tapped to become Colorado’s next education commissioner, says passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act has “given us permission to do some great things.” “We now control our own destiny on assessments, teacher evaluations, accountability.” On higher education standards, he adds, “If we want to compete with the best, we’re going to have to hold ourselves to high standards…If the legislature and the state board feels that is Common Core and PARCC, the department is going to be very supportive of that. If the state board, the legislature and the governor’s office say, ‘Hey, we’d like to look at some things other states are doing,’ we will support that also.”

Correcting the Record:

New York Plans Big Changes to Common Core
Daily Caller
The recommendation by the Common Core Task Force in New York to “substantially overhaul and possibly replace” the state’s education standards could create a domino effect, reports Blake Neff. “Should New York pull out, it would be the first Democratic state to do so, and could pave the way for others to follow suit.” While Neff correctly identifies the strong support for Common Core State Standards, according to a recent survey, here is what he gets it wrong:

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Louisiana Offers ‘Parent Guides’ to Accompany Upcoming Release of School Letter Grades
New Orleans Advocate
Louisiana officials will offer “parent guides” to help families understand annual letter grades given to public schools and school districts, State Superintendent John White announced Tuesday. The grades are expected to be released Thursday. “The guides that the department is releasing acknowledge that parents need good information regarding the performance not only of children but schools and school systems,” White said.

Twelve Critical Issues Facing Education in 2016
Education Week
Debate about Common Core State Standards and the impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act will likely continue to unfold next year, writes columnist Peter DeWitt. “Many states have dropped the CC in favor of new standards that look suspiciously like the Common Core standards with a new name…Other states will no doubt follow suit” in the upcoming year, the piece notes.