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Trump, Cruz Double Down on Baffling Common Core Promises | Daily Caller
During the Republican presidential debate last night, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz again pledged, if elected, to get rid of the Common Core even though “their positions are built on falsehoods.” “Common Core was created and adopted at the state level, and there is no federal Common Core program to repeal or abolish,” the article notes. A CNN “reality check” adds that because states voluntarily adopted the Common Core State Standards, they will “still exist at the local level until and unless they were modified there,” no matter who is elected president. Likewise, a PolitiFact analysis gives Trump’s comments a “False” rating, noting, “The federal government didn’t help create the standards, and has no control over how they’re implemented.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich defended his support of Common Core State Standards. “All I’m in favor of in Ohio is high standards,” he said. “[The state school board] sets the standards and the local school boards develop curriculum.”

Opt In for a Better Education | Opt In for Student Success Washington
A new video from the group Opt In for Student Success Washington features several high-school students explaining why they are “opting in” to Smarter Balanced tests. “I opt in to better education because I want better for my life,” says one student. “I don’t want to get to college and be lost.” “Any corner you cut now is going to show up later,” adds another student. A fact-sheet notes high-quality assessments let students know if they are on track for college or a career, ensure students get the support they need, and inform teachers to help them improve instruction. Last year, Karen Nussle pointed out, “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…For parents and educators, that should come as a welcome change.”

Three Things We Learned about the Future of Education at South by Southwest Education | The Seventy-Four
During a panel at the South by Southwest education summit, Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Mike Petrilli said Common Core State Standards are worth defending because they have delivered real gains to students. Petrilli added that the standards have demonstrated remarkable resiliency. “The idea that it’s a sinking ship or that the attacks are picking up steam, it’s just not true.” Noting repeal efforts have struck out in even the most conservative-leaning states in the country, Karen Nussle wrote last year, “The debate over whether the standards will survive appears to be settled: Common Core Standards are here to stay.”

Merryl Tisch, Board of Regents Chief Who Set Off Testing Backlash, Reflects on Her Tenure | New York Times
Discussing her experience as New York’s chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch defended her support of Common Core State Standards. “Never once behind closed doors did anyone say to me, ‘Back away from the standards,’” Tisch explained. “Never once did anyone say to me anything other than, ‘We have to think about the evaluation system.’” The standards are having an impact. Even as the Board of Regents raised expectations for high-school graduation, four-year graduation rates increased, and student performance on state assessments has steadily increased in math. The New York Daily News wrote in 2014, “The chorus of ‘can’t’…was wrong. If responsible adults show fortitude, and if they have the sense to learn from schools that are making the biggest gains, children can and will achieve in ever-greater numbers.”

Correcting the Record:

Common Core Foes Plan ‘Opt Out, Shop Out’ at Roosevelt Field | Newsday
Opponents of “Common Core testing” are planning an “Opt Out, Shop Out” event at Roosevelt Field Mall in New York to encourage parents to have their students refuse to participate in state tests. Participants are encouraged to wear t-shirts that say “Opt Out” while shopping. “Opting out is the only way we will continue to see change” says Jeanette Deutermann, an organizer of the event. “It’s still very important to show solidarity in this movement.” The article suggests parents are opposed to Common Core State Standards, but participants indicate they are upset with state testing policies. High-quality assessments are one of the best tools parents and teachers have to measure student development, and exams aligned to rigorous expectations ensure families get accurate information about how their kids are doing. Here is where the opt-out movement gets it wrong:

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Common Core Bill Passes Senate | Dominion Post
The West Virginia Senate passed an amended version of HB 4014. The legislation was intended to repeal the state’s education standards, but Senate Education Committee Chairman Dave Sypolt says it “no longer repeals anything.” The bill allows the College and Career Ready Standards to remain in place and establishes a panel to review and provide recommendations about the standards to the State Board of Education. The bill does propose severing ties with the Smarter Balanced testing consortium. The bill, which passed 22-12, will now go back to the State House, which is expected to reject the changes.

Cursive Makes a Comeback in Arizona | Arizona Sonora News
The Arizona Senate introduced a bill, SB 1197, that would require cursive instruction in the minimum course of study for public school students. Cursive is not required by the Common Core State Standards, but six states have passed and 11 more are considering bills to add cursive writing into classroom requirements, the National Convention of State Legislatures reports.  “As much as I hate mandates, I think this should be included as a basic item taught in our schools,” says Sen. Gail Griffin.