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Rev. Rodriguez: Education in the United States is still not equitable for minority students | Wall Street Journal
In response to a column by FOX News contributor Juan Williams, Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, writes that education in the United States is still not equitable for minority students. “It saddens me to read that Hispanic fourth graders in Alabama are reading two grade levels below their Hispanic peers in Florida… That is a terrible statistic that does not honor the imago Dei in each of us.” Hispanic evangelical voters will support leaders who stand for rigorous academic standards that challenge students to think, analyze and apply learning. “As a former public school student and educator, I am aware that Hispanic students face more than one obstacle in the pursuit of a quality education,” Rev. Rodriguez wrote previously. “Yet the wild variation in academic standards between schools and zip codes is one that we can address.”

State and District Stories of High Standards Implementation | Council of Chief State School Officers
A report by the Council of Chief State School Officers provides a collection of Common Core implementation strategies collected from interviews with educators from over 29 states. The study offers resources highlighting the importance of early engagement with stakeholders, continuous professional development, and high-quality resources. “This report is also an opportunity to showcase the outstanding work that goes on in our nation’s classrooms.” Polling shows parents and educators strongly support college- and career-ready education standards, but many educators lack professional support to effectively teach to Common Core State Standards. “[Policymakers] should use this moment to redouble their efforts, beginning by improving professional supports provided to those on the front lines,” three award-winning Arizona teachers wrote recently.

Promising Step for Special Needs Students | Staten Island Advance
This year, education officials in New York made adjustments to the state’s Common Core Standards to strengthen the learning goals, including ensuring that special-needs students’ needs are met. “It’s essential that we continue to have high expectations for all students,” said Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The rules adopted… provide a new mechanism for students with disabilities to demonstrate they have met the state’s graduation standards.” The move exemplifies states’ efforts to refine and build on the Common Core—exactly as the standards were designed. Conversely, the few states that have taken the ill-advised “repeal-and-replace” path have created disruption and uncertainty for their schools, only to produce learning goals that are either nearly identical or inferior to the Common Core.

Common Core Math: A Glimpse in the Classroom | Education Writers Association
Across the country, math teachers are having students collaborate and are encouraging students to work through solutions, in place of lecturing. In Ms. McPhillips’ class, students discuss questions in groups and then explain their reasoning in a larger conversation, a new approach supported by the Common Core. McPhillips says the standards aren’t perfect, but they are a big improvement over her state’s old learning goals. Educators across the country are helping students build stronger fundamental math skills by using multiple problem-solving methods, which help students build numbers fluency, in addition to traditional approaches. Parents too are seeing the results, and more schools are offering outreach to help families support their students.


Correcting the Record:

Facebook Comments on New York’s Common Core Standards, Testing, and Data Mining | In June the Collaborative for Student Success shared a Newsday editorial on Common Core in New York on our Facebook page. The editorial said that implementation woes aside, Common Core is a set of higher standards and it’s time for New York’s schools to move forward.  The post received a number of comments from concerned, misinformed New Yorkers, similar to misguided concerns we’ve seen voiced in other posts. Today, our Director of Policy Adam Ezring corrects the record in response to some of those comments:


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Every Student Succeeds Act Timeline, School Ratings, Standards Issues Dominate Senate Hearing | Education Week
The implementation timeline and proposals on education standards and school ratings dominated discussions at Thursday’s Senate hearing on accountability regulations in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate education committee, said schools should be required to implement accountability systems in the 2017-18 school year, but not have to identify low-performing schools until the year after. Sen. Alexander added that the U.S. Department of Education is going beyond the law to require summative ratings for schools. Finally, Sen. Alexander challenged regulations on standards, which he worries could open the door to federal involvement.