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Fact-Checking Chris Christie on Common Core 
Education Week
Gov. Chris Christie’s comment during the latest Republican debate that Common Core “has been eliminated” in New Jersey is deceiving, reports Alyson Klein. “New Jersey has decided to review the Common Core Standards and make changes, but the new version…may not look very different.” The review committee recommended keeping 85 percent of the Common Core, and its proposed changes mostly clarify and reorder the standards. “New Jersey’s Common Core ‘replacement’ is pretty much just Common Core,” the Daily Caller reported. 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.”

Center for American Progress Report: Tougher Standards Strengthen Student Achievement 
The Seventy-Four
A study by the Center for American Progress finds that low-income students in states with strong academic standards and aligned assessments made more progress on national tests than students in states that did not. “The evidence on standards-based reform strongly supports the potential of the Common Core to drive improvements in educational outcomes for all students,” the study’s authors, Ulrich Boser and Catherine Brown, say. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wrote last year, “By raising the bar for our students, we are ensuring that every child has the opportunities he or she deserves.”

Veto Override on Testing Opt-Out Fails in House 
Wilmington News Journal 
Delaware State Representative John Kowalko failed to get the majority vote needed to debate and vote a proposed override of Governor Jack Markell’s veto of legislation that would allow students to opt-out of state assessments. “A more productive approach to reducing testing than HB 50 is to review all required assessments and eliminate those that are unnecessary, ineffective, or redundant,” Gov. Markell said in a statement. High-quality assessments are one of the best tools teachers and parents have to measure student readiness. Mike Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, wrote last fall, “[Tests like Smarter Balanced] may not be perfect, but they are finally giving parents, educators and taxpayers an honest assessment of how our students are doing.”

UNCF President Backs Markell on Testing 
Wilmington News Journal 
Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, supported Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s veto of legislation that would allow students to opt out of state assessments. Lomax underscored that assessments are an important tool to measure student development and said, “We can’t lose another generation.” Last year, 12 national civil and human rights groups urged policymakers to oppose opt-out efforts because of the value of high-quality assessments provide to ensure students get and stay on a path of college- and career-readiness.

Cape Henlopen Launches Common Core Training Initiatives 
Delmarva Daily Times 
In Cape Henlopen School District, administrators launched a professional development team to help support teachers as they implement Common Core State Standards. During a district-wide meeting, teachers compared practices and developed strategies to use over the rest of the school year. “It gives us time to go deeper in our thinking and focus on what are our needs,” said Jenny Nauman, a local principal. Across the country, educators are working to support one another and parents as they implement changes through Common Core State Standards. A Center on Education Policy study found in more than two-thirds of school districts teachers are designing curricula to meet Common Core Standards.

Correcting the Record:

Christie vs. Rubio Heats Up in GOP Debate 
USA Today
During the sixth Republican presidential debate last night, Senator Marco Rubio went after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for, among other issues, supporting Common Core State Standards. “We cannot afford to have a president of the United States that supports Common Core,” Sen. Rubio claimed. Gov. Christie responded, “Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey.” Here is where both men got it wrong:

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Opt-Out Activists Aim to Build Momentum in States 
Education Week 
Activists behind the opt-out movement hope to build on momentum over the past year, while venturing into new political landscapes, regardless of what kind of support they receive from traditional education advocacy groups. Group leaders say they hope the Every Student Succeeds Act will open the door for testing policy changes. “We’ve become so obsessed with testing, with the ranking and rating of schools, and then using testing as a weapon against public education,” says Carol Burris. Data from Harvard University’s education policy program show that 59 percent of the public opposes opting out, compared with just 25 percent who support it.

Louisiana’s State Education Board Has a New President New Jersey to Consider Eliminating Opt-Out Option for PARCC Test
New Brunswick Today
The New Jersey commission organized by Gov. Chris Christie to review the state’s education standards recommends using PARCC tests as a high school graduation requirement. The Class of 2021 would be required to pass the Algebra I and English Language Arts 10 portions of PARCC to qualify for high school graduation. Other recommendations include using PARCC scores for university placement and dual-credit enrollment programs.