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Why Public Schools Need Measurable Standards
The Oregonian
Most people have standards “they must meet every day in their jobs,” and public schools need high standards and systems of measurement for the same reason, writes Bob Woods, a Salem resident. “Standards, whether they be Common Core or any other system, set an expectation of a level of performance to be reached…There must be a set of standards for education, and there must be a set of measures to see if the standards are achieved.” Louisiana State Superintendent John White explains that by adopting high, comparable standards “states have adopted higher standards, states have tests that measure those standards and they’re comparable, so there can be an honest baseline…That is a fantastic success for each state and for America and its children.”

Will New Jersey Make Changes to the Common Core Standards?
Newark Star-Ledger
Today, the panel of educators and parents tasked with reviewing New Jersey’s Common Core State Standards will present its recommendations to the State Board of Education. “Any Common Core opponents hoping for major overhaul might be disappointed,” the article reports. “State education officials have said the review process was not intended to tear down the existing standards.” Last May, Karen Nussle wrote that Gov. Chris Christie’s call for review was “toothless” in that it would change “very little about New Jersey’s academic standards,” and a poor political calculation. “It’s no wonder why teachers, students and parents are puzzled: Why it is so difficult for a handful of meek politicians to remain committed to a simple set of math and English standards?”

Correcting the Record:

Common Core Damage Will Last for Years to Come
Heartland Institute
States’ implementation of Common Core State Standards is like “a house with an underwater mortgage,” claims Peter Ward, president of the National Association of Scholars. “The United States has invested so much in Common Core that it can’t easily get out.” By “demoting literature,” “slowing down math instruction,” and “cutting out parents,” the standards may have “robbed a generation,” Ward asserts. In reality, states voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards precisely because they set rigorous, consistent learning goals, which ensure more students will graduate prepared for college and careers. Here is where Ward gets it wrong:

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Public Hearings to Spotlight Maine’s Common Core Math and English Standards, Testing
Portland Press Herald
Maine residents will have an opportunity today to weigh in on proposed legislation to review the state’s Common Core Standards and to delay statewide testing for a year. Public hearings will be heard before the legislature’s education committee. During the last legislative session the committee voted 12-1 against a bill that would replace the Common Core with the standards the state used before. State Rep. Will Tuell, who introduced the new legislation to review the state’s learning goals, says parents and teachers “have concerns that what we’re doing isn’t working.” “When your community is having a problem, it needs to be addressed.”

Using Computers Widens Achievement Gap in Writing, a Federal Study Finds
Hechinger Report
A 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Education found high-performing students did better on computer-based writing assignments than with paper and pencil, but the opposite was true for low-performing students. They crafted better sentences using pencil and paper than using a computer. “In the study, high-performing students—the top 20 percent of the test takers—produced an average of 179 words per assignment on the computer, three times the number of words that the bottom 20 percent,” the article reports. Some experts argue that the evidence supports schools teaching more typing skills. “Instead of having them hunt and peck around, why not teach them keyboarding correctly from the beginning?” says Virginia Berninger, a professor at the University of Washington.