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Strong Academics Too Important for Legislature to Mess Up | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Barbara Zingg, a high-school teacher in West Virginia, writes that disagreements between the State Legislature and the State Board of Education over education standards “will cause massive casualties among teachers and students.” Zingg adds, “Through HB 4014, the Legislature is asking us to go the wrong direction…Now is not the time for the Legislature to walk away from higher academic goals for our students.” An analysis by the Collaborative for Student Success reinforces Zingg’s position, noting the changes considered by the Legislature could cause “undue chaos and confusion.”

Anti-Common Core Measure Could Do Away with AP, IB Programs in Kansas | Wichita Eagle
Legislation being considered by Kansas lawmakers that seeks to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards, HB 2676, could force schools to end Advanced Placement classes and International Baccalaureate programs. The bill, which passed out of the House Education Committee on Wednesday, would require AP, IB and similar courses to be aligned with new, non-Common Core standards, which educators say would be difficult or impossible because such classes are modeled on national or international frameworks. “It would undo everything,” says Judith Deedy, director of Game On for Kansas Schools. “You can’t just change curriculum overnight.” Last year, Karen Nussle wrote, “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.”

Students Who Pass State Graduation Tests Still Unprepared for College | PBS NewsHour
Nationwide, the number of students passing high-school exit exams is at an all-time high, but “huge numbers of these graduates turn out to be unprepared for college.” Nearly 60 percent of students at two-year colleges require remediation before they can begin credit-bearing coursework. “We need to give educators, students and families an honest indication of whether [students] are on track to meet post-secondary demands,” says Linda Noonan, director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. A follow-up analysis to the Honesty Gap report finds more than half of states have closed discrepancies between state-reported proficiency rates and NAEP, giving parents and teachers more accurate information about student readiness.

Readers Sound Off on the Common Core | Wall Street Journal
New York education officials have made important corrections to ensure students have the support and resources to meet Common Core State Standards, including extra time for testing, writes Kim Hardwick, a New York principal. “Given the work we are seeing students achieve in the classroom…we should encourage our youngsters to take these improved assessments to measure their growth and achievement.” Likewise, Maxine Susseles, a New York resident, says Common Core State Standards require students to consider problems that emphasize critical thinking. “The real challenge placed before educators is closing the books from which they were tested, from the type of teaching fosters regurgitation, not learning.” In a memo last summer Karen Nussle explains that Common Core State Standards have proven resilient because “there continues to be broad public support for more rigorous, voluntary K-12 standards in math and English that are comparable across state lines.”

Correcting the Record:

The Big Common Core Lie | Education Week
Alexander Hoffman, president of AleDev Research, suggests that if the Common Core requires students to learn 20 percent more at each grade (he concedes “it is really more complicated than that”), then students at higher grade levels have “a very different starting point than what it replaced.” Implementation of the Common Core has not been incremental, Hoffman argues, so how can “instruction possibly be ready for sixth grade CCSS-based curriculum and instruction?” Common Core State Standards were developed by experts and educators to set appropriately rigorous learning goals for students at each grade level to ensure they have a path of college- and career-readiness. Here is where Hoffman’s analogy gets it wrong:

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Common Core Revisions Win Praise, but Unclear When They Should Take Effect | New Orleans Advocate
Members of the Louisiana Superintendents’ Advisory Council applauded proposed changes to the state’s Common Core Standards during a meeting Thursday, but it is unclear whether the changes will take effect for the 2016-17 school year. “I think there is widespread support for the standards from the education community,” said Hollis Milton, chairman of the council. The revisions are scheduled to be reviewed by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education March 3-4.

Fariña Talks Common Core at CEC Town Hall | Queens Chronicle
At a meeting Thursday, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said firmly that the state will not eliminate its Common Core State Standards. “The answer is no, no and no,” Fariña said in response to a question from the audience. When asked if the standards are appropriate for English-learners, Fariña replied: “Having high standards is very important. Just because you’re not an English speaker—I was not an English speaker in my younger years—doesn’t mean you can’t reach that and having high expectations is important. The same thing with special-needs kids.”