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Fremont Students Use Math Skills to Build Golf Courses | San Jose Mercury News
Teachers at Centerville Junior High School in California had their students design mini-golf course holes as a way to apply math principles learned in class. “We studied angle measure and relationships, perimeter, and area of complex figures,” explains Kathy Fields, one of the teachers, noting the project allowed students to apply what they learned to real-world situations. The project demonstrates how educators are using creating ways to reinforce content aligned to Common Core State Standards and engaging both parents and students. Last year 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote, “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 form great teachers in other states.”

Oklahoma Lawmakers in Disagreement over New Academic Standards | KOCO Oklahoma City
Two Oklahoma lawmakers filed a joint resolution disapproving of the education standards created to replace the state’s Common Core Standards. State Senator Josh Brecheen says the new standards are vague and aren’t rigorous enough. “We want students and teachers to have the best standards in the nation,” he said. “The eyes of the nation are on Oklahoma right now.” Lawmakers have one week to approve the new learning goals. A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success cautions that repealing the Common Core sent Oklahoma on a path of turmoil and disruption. “While other states are working to provide parents and teachers with better tools to measure student development toward college- and career-readiness, the future for Oklahoma’s academic standards – and its students – is less certain.”

Correcting the Record:

Opting Out: A Civic Duty, Not Civil Disobedience | New Boston Post
Opting out of student assessments is “the Achilles Heel” of federal and state policy-makers, who seek to control the content of schools’ curricula, argues Sandra Stotsky. Common Core-aligned tests seek to “get very low-achieving students into college and to lower above-average student achievement in order to close demographic gaps,” Stotsky suggests, before discounting the value of good assessments. “Is it the case that our teachers are incapable of discerning students who can read and write from those who can’t?” Yet, educators know high-quality tests inform classroom instruction and help ensure student needs are met. Here is where Stotsky gets it wrong:

Education Researchers Blast Common Core Standards, Urge Ban on High-Stakes Tests | Washington Post
Researchers from Stanford University, UCLA and UC Berkeley claim the Common Core “deprofessionalizes teaching and narrows the curriculum” and “reduces the quality of education and student learning, engagement and success.” Yet, educators and administrators, both in California and across the country, disagree. They voice strong support for Common Core State Standards and the high-quality assessments accompanying them. Here is where the analysis gets it wrong:

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Common Core Math Practice Tests under Review | Jackson Clarion-Ledger
A spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Education says state officials are reviewing math practice exams aligned to the state’s Common Core Standards. All tests were removed from the Department’s website. “The Mississippi Department of Education regrets that math practice tests were released with errors. We are taking aggressive action to correct the errors,” a statement from the Department says. “Out of a total of 245 items on seven different math practice tests, approximately 12 items contained errors.”

This State Offers Hope for the Test Score-Teacher Evaluation Debate | US News & World Report
A report by the Center for American Progress says Massachusetts’ model for using student assessment scores in teacher evaluations may provide a path forward for other states. “As federal policies shift to provide states and districts greater flexibility to craft their own evaluation systems, Massachusetts offers an interesting model,” the report states. “It has been less controversial because test scores serve as merely a check on the system rather than a driver of it.”

Building Blocks of Common Core Math | Modesto Bee
The article provides an overview of Common Core math standards for kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as tips and strategies for parents. For example, in first grade concepts include, “Count to 120; add/subtract up to 100 using objects, strategies or drawing; and solve simple equations.” The article suggests strategies like, “Counting starting at different numbers, not always 1; talk through figuring out how big a closet is, what shapes can fit inside.” It also offers tips, “Mix up equations, like 8 + ? = 11, to foster thinking through the logic of a problem.”


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