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Michael Funkhouser: Repealing academic standards is bad déjà vu | Charleston Gazette-Mail
West Virginia state lawmakers are once again attempting to repeal education standards “that have been proven to help students achieve greater academic success.” Michael Funkhouser, the 2013 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, writes that lawmakers are “pursuing a reckless path that will create chaos in classrooms and set students back in their education.” Funkhouser’s call for maintaining rigorous standards is consistent with the research: support for high, consistent standards, by any name, remains strong across the country.

In the age of Common Core, states are still defining ‘proficient’ differently | Washington Post
A recent analysis by Gary Phillips of the American Institutes for Research showed that “it continues to be difficult to directly compare student performance across state lines” and that of states who administered tests other than PARCC or Smarter Balance, only a few “had expectations for proficiency that were as high as NAEP’s.” Overall, states are raising their expectations for student proficiency and implementing high-quality tests that give parents and teachers better information about how prepared students are, according to both a follow-up Honesty Gap analysis by Achieve and the Collaborative for Student Success and a study published by Education Next. Achieve’s Honesty Gap report notes that 26 states closed discrepancies between state-reported proficiency rates and NAEP.

House to consider bill with test opt-out provision, no standards repeal | Charleston Gazette-Mail
As a result of Friday’s meeting of the West Virginia House Education Committee, a bipartisan bill that would not repeal the state’s education standards is heading to the floor of the full House of Delegates. The bill would “end the state’s current Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced standardized test,” “newly require a ‘standardized, curriculum-based, achievement college entrance examination’ to be given to all high school juniors,” and “allow parents or guardians to opt out their children from standardized testing.” If this bill became law, the state would have wasted millions dollars on a test administered for one year, spend more money developing a new assessment, and then send a message to parents that the new test doesn’t matter because it’s easier for them to opt their students out. Rather than attacking higher academic expectations and aligned assessments, West Virginia should embrace the fact that schools are holding students to levels that set them up for success – and respect the millions of dollars from taxpayers that they’ve already used to implement the standards and assessments.

Correcting the Record:

Sleeping Giant of Education Politics – Parents – Are Awake and Rebelling | Huffington Post
John Fager writes that “Common Core was created behind closed doors with no proof it is based on research. In fact there is proof that the Common Core early childhood education standards are damaging children.” Fager goes on to criticize Common Core State Standards, claiming that the “problems with the Common Core are especially severe in the early grades.” Here’s where he gets it wrong:

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La. attorney general joins governor in dropping Common Core case | Louisiana Record
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined with Governor John Bel Edwards to dismiss the federal lawsuits filed by former Governor Bobby Jindal. Landry issued a statement on February 11th, echoing Edward’s February 4th statement, saying that he would “join the motion to dismiss Jindal v. U.S. Department of Education.” Landry has stated that he will not rule out future court action regarding Louisiana’s rights.

Education battle cools at Capitol | WGRZ
Following a year of heated disputes between New York state teacher unions and Governor Andrew Cuomo, the policy debate has largely settled. “There are still areas of policy disagreement but they’re being discussed within the context of the budget, and they’re more traditional discussions than we saw last year,” NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn said.

Educators back keeping new teaching standards in place | West Virginia Metro News
HB 4014, which would “allow the new College and Career Readiness Standards to stay in place” but change the standardized testing of students, has moved to the full House for consideration. Teachers have voiced concerns about the flux in standards and the “general view among administrators is that the College and Career Readiness Standards should be implemented in the 2016-2017 school year as planned.”