News You Can Use:

Democrats Rewrite Education Platform behind Closed Doors, and Abandon Core Party Values | The 74 Million
Parents, educators and policymakers have an obligation to support students by setting high expectations and holding themselves accountable for the results, writes Education Post’s Peter Cunningham. “Unfortunately, the new Democratic platform does not fully commit” to those purposes. Amendments that criticize so-called “high-stakes testing” are “a step backwards at a time when America can’t afford to stand still, let alone retreat,” Cunningham explains. “Accountability and public school choice are core values of the last two Democratic administrations. The last thing we should do is abandon them.” Like Cunningham, a growing consensus has emerged urging parents to “opt in” to high-quality assessments.

Summer Algebra Institute Helps Prepare Students for High School Math | Ed Source
The Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino is offering the Summer Algebra Institute, a program to help at-need students develop math skills to succeed in high school. The program is one of 17 math academies funded by California State University to help close math achievement gaps. At the start of the six-week program, only 20 percent of students scored at grade-level proficiency or above. By the end, 40 percent reached those levels. “It’s an opportunity for [students] to achieve,” says Jacqueline Mimms, a cofounder of the program. “Once they get it, it’s like, ‘Wow, I can do math.’” Across the country states have been offering resources to help students, parents and teachers adjust to changes under the Common Core. A “math check” by the Collaborative notes that shifts to instruction help students build strong foundational skills that empower them to succeed at high-level math content.


Correcting the Record:

Obama’s Home State Dumps Common Core Tests | Breitbart News
Reporting on Illinois’ decision to replace PARCC with the SAT as the required exam for high school juniors, the article claims PARCC took too much time away from classroom instruction. “We should eliminate duplication,” says Roger Eddy, executive director for the Illinois Association of School Boards. “We assess and assess and assess, and you have got to remember that sometimes we have to teach kids.” Eddy argues the SAT is more meaningful for students because it is also used as a college entrance exam. However, high-quality assessments like PARCC provide accurate information about student readiness and align closely with good classroom instruction. Contrary to the headline’s suggestion, Illinois is not getting rid of PARCC. It will continue to administer PARCC assessments in grades 3-8. Here is where Breitbart gets it wrong:


On Our Reading List:

Does College Readiness = Career Readiness? | Education Week
Participants in Jobs for the Future’s national summit, which gathered 650 educators, policymakers and business leaders, identified several takeaways to help inform policy discussions around the Every Student Succeeds Act and whether college readiness is equivalent to career readiness. Consensus built around several points, including: college readiness is not the same as career readiness, but both are equally important to equity; career readiness deserves more attention in education, assessments and accountability; more employers should participate in education policy formation; and, states need to seize the moment to create innovative solutions for career readiness.

Hasidic Parents aim to Boost Education Standards | Wall Street Journal
Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools (PEARLS), a Hasidic coalition, is pledging to improve instruction for their children, following complaints that dozens of New York City yeshivas fail to provide enough secular education. The group proposes what it calls “a serious, comprehensive and professional” curricular overhaul, which will align with New York’s Common Core Standards. A City Hall spokesperson said, “We have been in productive conversations with the schools… We are developing a mutual understanding on how to implement a high-quality, Common Core-aligned curriculum as soon as possible.”