News You Can Use:

Yes to Common Core; No to Math Wars
Raleigh News & Observer
Strong math skills require both number fluency and conceptual understanding, and Common Core State Standards strike a balance between those two considerations, writes Paola Sztajn, a professor of education at North Carolina State University. “To replace [the Common Core framework] with new guidelines that once again prevent us from coming closer to an approach to mathematics that builds on both understanding and fluency – is just unfair to our children.” Sztajn reiterates the position outlined by Fordham Institute President Mike Petrilli last year: “It’s impossible to draft standards that prepare students for college and career readiness and that look nothing like Common Core…because Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do.”

Chicago School has the Answer for PARCC Test
Chicago Sun
At Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School in Chicago, where low-income students make up 97 percent of the student body, nearly half the students met or exceeded proficiency targets in math. By comparison, citywide just 20.6 percent of public-school students met the same benchmarks. Officials attribute the gains to early adoption of Common Core State Standards, which teachers used to improve instruction. Cardenas’ success affirms that rigorous education standards have the potential to help more students reach and stay on a college- and career-ready path, regardless of their background or where they grow up.

Commmon Core to be Overhauled
Long Island Herald
Richard Parsons, chairman of the Common Core Task Force initiated by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, reemphasized that the state’s Common Core Standards should serve as the starting point for further changes. “Building on the foundation established by the Common Core Standards, high-quality [standards] must be developed where necessary to meet the needs of our kids,” Parsons said. Common Core State Standards were designed for states to take that kind of ownership, Karen Nussle explains in a recent memo. “They aren’t perfect, so just as was originally intended by the Governors and state superintendents, states are taking the ‘model’ standards and making them their own, by making changes and improvements.”

Correcting the Record:

State Board of Education Faces New Standards Vote Thursday
WAJR Ckarksburg
The West Virginia Board of Education will vote Thursday on the adoption of a new set of education standards. “I’ve made a recommendation to the State Board to repeal Common Core and adopt our standards now as the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards,” State Superintendent Michael Martirano said in an interview this week. “We need to move this dialogue forward. We have to resolve this.” The following post explains, if West Virginia officials decide to replace their education standards, new expectations must be predicated on the framework laid by the Common Core:

On Our Reading List:

The Incredible Shrinking Case for Common Core
National Catholic Register
Catholic schools should not “rush into the Common Core madness” because most already have academic standards as or more rigorous than Common Core State Standards, writes Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society. The piece adds that David Coleman’s, one of the lead authors of Common Core Standards, recognition of Catholic schools’ mission “dispel[s] one of the key arguments for adopting the Common Core simply so that students can ‘keep up’ with the changes to standardized tests.”

New York Regents Vote to Exclude State Tests in Teacher Evaluations
New York Times
This week the New York Board of Regents voted to put a four-year moratorium on the use of student assessments in teacher evaluations, following the recommendations of the Common Core Task Force launched by Gov. Cuomo. The decision marks a reversal of policy; earlier this year the state Legislature voted to increase the weight of test scores in evaluations. Only one member, Chancellor Merryl Tisch, voted against the moratorium.