News You Can Use:

Alexander: Federal Role on K-12 Will Be ‘Very Different’ Under ESSA
Education Week
Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate education committee, says the role of federal authorities in K-12 education will be “very different” under the Every Student Succeeds Act, including “at least three major” implementation oversight hearings next year. The Every Student Succeeds Act will end the debate about whether states were forced to adopt Common Core State Standards, Sen. Alexander says, “so that’s over as an issue in a federal race.” As Karen Nussle explains, ESSA is “particularly encouraging to supporters of the Common Core State Standards because it forever ends what has long been an Achilles Heel of Common Core: federal entanglement through Race to the Top.”

West Virginia School Board Okays Changes to Common Core Standards, Reduces Standardized Testing
Charleston Gazette-Mail
On Thursday, the West Virginia Board of Education voted to replace the state’s Common Core Standards, effective in the next school year. The standards that came out of a statewide review process “include much of the same exact wording, down to the same examples and similar ordering,” indicating West Virginia will continue to use rigorous expectations set forth by the Common Core as a new baseline. Earlier this year, Karen Nussle noted, “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.”

Correcting the Record:

State Panel Unveiling Revamp of Common Core School Standards
Associated Press
North Carolina’s Academic Standards Review Commission is expected to recommend the state scrap its Common Core Math Standards and instead adopt guidelines used in Minnesota for math instruction in grades K-8. High school math should return to the old sequence of algebra, followed by geometry and more algebra, the commission says in its report. If approved, the move would revert North Carolina’s schools back to inferior standards and undo the investment educators and students have made preparing for the rigor of the Common Core:

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Most Mississippi Students Score Below Grade Level on Tests
Associated Press
About 26 percent of Mississippi students in grades 3-8 met or exceeded proficiency benchmarks in math, as did about 30 percent of students in reading, according to results from PARCC assessments earlier this year. State officials released the scores on Thursday. “I’m delighted, to be honest with you, that the children did as well as they did with this level of rigor,” State Superintendent Carey Wright says. “That’s the good news for Mississippi.”

After Louisiana Public School Grades Released, John White: Bar About to Rise, ‘Will No Doubt Pose a Challenge’
New Orleans Advocate
Louisiana education officials released letter grades for the state’s public schools on Thursday, which followed a holding pattern ordered by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to avoid big drops as the schools transition to Common Core State Standards. But State Superintendent John White says it will soon be harder for schools and districts to earn top grades. “At a certain point, you have to start raising the threshold, and that will, no doubt, pose a challenge for many of our schools. But it is good for our kids. Our results are improving because we are raising the bar.”