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Scores Up in Delaware Statewide Testing | Delaware State News
Students across nearly every district in Delaware showed improvements on the states’ Smarter Balanced Assessment over the previous year. This is the second year in which Delaware administered the exam for students in grades 3-8. The State Department of Education reports proficiency levels increased by two to five percentage points in most grade levels in both math and English language arts. “The hard work that our students and administrators have been doing is really paying off,” said Michael Watson, chief academic officer. “It’s been very exciting for all of us to think about how we’re going to be able to use this to benefit our students,” says Brandy Cooper, a sixth-grade teacher. “States are finally measuring to levels that reflect what students need to know and be able to do to succeed in college or a career,” Karen Nussle wrote last fall. “For parents and educators, that should come as a welcome change.”

California Needs Not Just More Teachers But More Master Teachers | Ed Source
Common Core State Standards, “which go far beyond the learning expectations of the past and ask all students to regularly collaborate, persevere, evaluate, reflect and analyze,” raise the bar not only for students, but teachers as well, writes Derek Mitchell, CEO of Partners in School Innovation. Accordingly, schools need to better support and prepare teachers to teach to those higher expectations. “Our country and our state need systems that will produce masters of the teaching craft.” A RAND Corporation study this year found only 28 percent of math teachers and only 31 percent of English language arts teachers believe the professional development opportunities available to them reflect their needs. “[Teachers] simply haven’t received the scaffolding to accommodate such a significant course correction,” three Arizona Teachers of the Year wrote recently.


Correcting the Record:

Does Trump Nomination Mean End of GOP in School Reform? It’s Complicated | The 74 Million
Although the Common Core State Standards were initially met with broad bipartisan support, “much has changed since then,” argues columnist Matt Barnum. “Republican supporters of the Common Core have all but evaporated in response to political pressure.” Much of that, Barnum acknowledges, was driven by “conspiracy theories and misconceptions,” but Republican support for the Common Core has hardly soured. However, while opposition campaigns have been successful in tarnishing the term “Common Core,” support for high, consistent education standards remains strong, and most states continue to stick with the Common Core. Here is where the suggestion that conservatives have turned on Common Core State Standards gets it wrong:


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Arkansas Schools to Start Using New Standards | Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
New education standards for math and English language arts—which were developed based on the Common Core—will be introduced in Arkansas schools for grades K-12 during the upcoming school year, and fully implemented the following year. More than 100 teachers, administrators, and higher-education faculty members worked with the state Department of Education to refine the standards, providing mostly revisions and clarifications. “We have created a product that is much more positive and has buy-in from Arkansas educators,” said Education Commissioner Johnny Key. “We did a good job of getting everyone’s input along the way.”
New York Says Its Online Testing Practice Round Was a ‘Resounding Success’ | Chalkbeat New York
New York schools won’t transition to online testing for a few more years, but initial piloting of the platform was successful, the State Department of Education revealed Wednesday. The trial run included more than 800 schools from around the state which volunteered to participate in the program. “The 2016 administration of computer-based Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and math field tests ended successfully,” Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said in a statement. “Feedback and suggestions from this year’s administration are now being gathered and will inform decisions for next year.”