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The Secret to Engaging Students | Educators for High Standards
About half of students who drop out of school say it’s because they don’t feel engaged. So how can teachers help student connect what they learn in the classroom with their lives? Tara Dale, a high school teacher in Arizona, explains that the answer lies in teaching critical thinking. “Students in my classroom aren’t bored but instead are engaged. I require them to think, not to memorize random facts.” Common Core State Standards encourage students to “think about texts, analyze data, and support claims.” Like Dale, David Ruenzel, a former teacher, says the Common Core asks students “to analyze complex texts, to weigh evidence, to make clear and effective arguments…It will no longer be enough for youngsters to memorize information or rely on formulas.”

What I Told President Obama about Education Reform | Daily Caller
Muhammed Chaudhry, president of Silicon Valley Education, writes that it is vital for the country’s next president to advocate for rigorous education standards and assessments. “Common Core empowers local teachers and administrators to develop customized education for their kids.” High academic expectations, alongside other reforms, “can ensure we close the education gap and give an equal chance at education success to all our children.” Like Chaudhry, National Urban League’s Marc Morial wrote previously, “Common Core will not address every concern about our education systems, but its equitable implementation will help pave the way to ensuring that all children have a fair shot a high-quality education.”


Correcting the Record:

Once All But Left for Dead, Is Cursive Handwriting Making a Comeback? | Washington Post
In many states across the country, cursive handwriting is returning from the brink—a brink, the article suggests, brought about by Common Core State Standards. “Common Core Standards adopted by most states in recent years no longer required teaching cursive in public schools, and the widespread reaction was succinct: good riddance.” While the Common Core doesn’t specifically require students to learn cursive writing, the standards don’t discourage it either. And in numerous states, education officials have been building on the Common Core framework to include cursive writing. Here is where the suggestion that Common Core State Standards discourage cursive writing gets it wrong:


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Rival School Review Panel Named by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards | New Orleans Advocate
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards named nine members to a panel on Wednesday to recommend changes in public school policies, which could create controversy over how the state complies with the Every Student Succeeds Act. State education leaders launched eight public hearings on possible changes under ESSA this week. John White, the state’s superintendent, said the hearings will inform an implementation plan that will be made available for public comment before being submitted to federal officials next year.
U.S. Education Department Issues Guidelines for Supporting Homeless Students | Boston Globe
The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance for supporting homeless students under the Every Student Succeeds Act on Wednesday. There are more than 1.3 million homeless students nationwide. The guidelines address changes in the new law and are intended to help states and districts identify homeless students, coordinate between schools and service providers, protect privacy records, and increase college and career readiness.