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Common Core Math in the K-8 Classroom: Results from a National Teacher Survey / Thomas B. Fordham Institute
A report by the Fordham Institute finds most teachers believe Common Core State Standards will improve students’ math skills and prepare them for college and beyond, but many classroom materials are not well aligned to the standards. Sixty-four percent of respondents say they increasingly require students to explain an answer, and about two-thirds are teaching multiple problem-solving methods more now than before. At the same time, educators need more guidance about how to teach to the standards effectively. A RAND study this year found only 28 percent of math and 31 percent of ELA teachers believe professional development training reflect their needs. A study in Georgia found four in 10 teachers received three days or fewer of training. “Now is not the time to grow weary, but to roll up our sleeves and help teachers succeed,” the Fordham analysis notes.

Teachers Optimistic about Common Core Writing Standards, But Not Tests / Science Daily
A study by Michigan State University scholar Gary Troia on teacher perceptions of the writing and English language arts components of the Common Core finds a majority of respondents believe the standards are more rigorous than prior standards; set clear expectations for students; and push teachers to teach writing more often. Nearly one in five teachers were still not familiar with the standards, and about a third were not familiar with associated assessments. “This proves that a great deal of work needs to be accomplished by state and local education agencies to prepare educators,” Troia said. The Common Core State Standards and the assessments aligned to them are working, Mike Petrilli explains, and it’s important now states “stay in the saddle.”


Correcting the Record:

Class War in the Classroom | Counter Punch
Common Core State Standards “broke math,” and students who participated in exams aligned to the standards are “involved in a union busting effort.” Those are among the outrageous claims made by documentary filmmaker Andrew Stewart. The piece goes on to allege that the standards “serve as a cash cow for the textbook printers” and are designed to create “antagonism between unionized workers and their neighbors.” All this, Stewart contends, “is creating the antagonism that fueled increased [school] violence.” Such claims are offensive and misinformed. Here is where Stewart gets it wrong:


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Civil Rights Coalition Says Proposed ESSA Accountability Rules a Mixed Bag / Education Week
Thirty civil rights groups led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement Wednesday the proposed accountability regulations in the Every Student Succeeds Act are a “good first step,” but there remain areas where the U.S. Department of Education should go further. The full list of recommendations can be found here. “We look forward to working with the Department to strengthen this regulation and move this process forward so that states, districts, schools, and advocates have the information they need to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act and preserve its civil rights legacy,” the statement notes.

Alaska Repeals Student Data Requirement in Educator Evaluations / Juneau Empire
The Alaska Board of Education and Early Development repealed a requirement that school districts consider student achievement measures to evaluate teachers. The state had adopted the requirement in order to receive a No Child Left Behind waiver. Under the newly minted Every Student Succeeds Act, districts do not have to consider student achievement data in teacher evaluations. The proposed changes will be made available for public comment.