News You Can Use:

Common Core and the Declaration of Independence | Collaborative for Student Success
Each state in the U.S. has a rich history and heritage. Common Core State Standards preserve that uniqueness by ensuring local and state officials have full control over curricular decisions. Leaders can build on and customize the standards to meet their students’ needs. The Common Core identifies only four required texts: the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. The Common Core does not require any specific texts, fiction or non-fiction, beyond these four formative documents because states and local districts know what texts are most valuable to their students.

Teaching Emotional Skills Pays Big Dividends for Winnetka Elementary School | Los Angeles Daily News
Six public school districts in California have implemented social-emotional learning as one component to measure school quality. The instruction compliments Common Core State Standards. “This is a great program. Before, [students] didn’t know how to work together and solve problems,” one teacher explains. “We really do see kids out on the playground problem solving,” another adds. The program demonstrates how school districts are building on the Common Core framework to meet student needs. “Under the Common Core, teachers have greater flexibility to design their classroom lessons—and can, for the first time, take advantage of the best practices from great teachers in other states,” 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote previously.


Correcting the Record:

Excuse Makers | Naples Daily News
In a letter to the Naples Daily News, local resident David Bolduc claims, “states sold their educational souls to the Obama administration for 30 pieces of silver in 2010 to adopt Common Core.” Collier School District superintendent Kamela Patton’s support for the standards has opened the door to “never-ending data mining of teachers and students,” the letter argues. However, Common Core State Standards were developed by educators and experts from across the country, and states continue to implement the standards free from federal incentives. Contrary to Bolduc’s claim, the Common Core has no bearing on states’ collection or use of student data. Here is where the letter gets it wrong:


On Our Reading List:

The Scandal of K-12 Education | Wall Street Journal
Despite improvements in graduation rates and college enrollment among minority students, millions of African-American and Latino students are not graduating high school prepared for the challenges of college and careers, writes Juan Williams, a Fox News political analyst. Far too many white students, too, are not performing at grade level. The Every Student Succeeds Act offers state leaders an opportunity “to push past any union rules that protect underperforming schools and bad teachers.” Common Core State Standards set clear, consistent learning goals that ensure students of all backgrounds are held to expectations that prepare them for college and careers. “The remedy to this country’s longstanding problem of unequal education is the Common Core State Standards,” former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wrote last fall.
Tennessee Misses Deadline to Name New Test Maker | Chalkbeat Tennessee
Education officials in Tennessee missed a self-imposed deadline to name a new vendor to administer the state’s student assessments. The state Department of Education terminated its contract with Measurement Inc. in April after problems with the test platform disrupted testing. In May officials awarded an emergency contract to Pearson to grade the tests that did work. At that time authorities indicated they would announce a new vendor by the end of June. “We are looking ahead to the next several weeks,” a spokesperson said on July 1.
Louisiana Offers Its Homegrown Standards-Based Lessons to Teachers Nationwide | Education Week
Officials at the Louisiana Department of Education enlisted teachers to help develop materials aligned to the state’s Common Core Standards, which they are now making available to teachers across the country. “There were some [Common Core] programs with real strengths for sure, but none that were meeting our bar,” explains Rebecca Kockler, Louisiana assistant superintendent. “This is so different,” adds one teacher of the newly developed curricular materials. “It’s such a variety of texts. Nonfiction and fiction texts are incorporated into every section.” A recent RAND study found that nearly all ELA teachers in common-core states are using materials they developed or selected themselves in at least some capacity. About one-third of ELA teachers in those states are using the EngageNY materials.