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For State Leadership, the Common Core Is a Boon | Education Week
With the implementation of Common Core State Standards, “state leaders will be in a much better position” to learn from policy differences, and state leaders will be able to look at the impact of education policy, writes Thomas Kane, faculty director for the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Since states began using Common Core, 80 percent of math and English teachers report increasing students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills. Another Harvard University study concludes, since implementing Common Core State Standards most “states have made a dramatic move forward.”

Common Core Drives Improvement across the Curriculum | Huffington Post
Krista Fincke, a Massachusetts teacher, writes that the ballot measure to repeal Common Core in in her state would be an “expensive and chaotic” move. “The depth and rigor of the Common Core has pushed us to evaluate the skills we are teaching, allowing lessons to drive critical thinking and analysis…Repealing Common Core would undo all of the progress schools and teachers have made to increase the rigor in their courses.” Last year 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote, the Common Core “gives educators the flexibility to adjust to students’ multiple learning styles while allowing those same students to progress at their own pace.”

As Test Time Nears, Coalition Tries to Head Off Opt-Outs | US News & World Report
On Thursday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell joined educators and civil rights leaders in supporting a “Testing Bill of Rights,” that encourages schools to administer fewer, high-quality assessments. “We all need objective measures to determine whether our students are learning,” Markell said. “Assessments provide parents, educators and schools with the much-needed information to inform instruction to better meet the needs of students,” added Laura Bay, president of the National PTA. Last fall Karen Nussle wrote, “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.”

Correcting the Record:

Neither Funny Nor Informative, This Core Strategy Should Die | CATO at Liberty
Supporters of Common Core State Standards are “ignoring substantive objections to the Core and dismissing opponents as ignorant, maybe even loony,” argues Neal McCluskey of the CATO Institute, in response to a Funny or Die video humorously taking on criticism of Common Core State Standards. The clip is “highly misleading,” McCluskey says. The video puts out “misleading and woefully incomplete information.” But in fact, opponents of the Common Core have spread wildly inaccurate claims, which the video addresses. Here is where McCluskey gets it wrong:

West Virginia Lawmakers Pass Common Core Repeal Bill | Heartland Institute
Andy Torbett of the Heartland Institute falsely claims that West Virginia legislators approved legislation that will “repeal the state’s Common Core curriculum and prohibit the state’s Board of Education from implanting the national curriculum standards.” In actuality, lawmakers approved a bill to have their state Board review and recommend potential changes to the standards—as other states have done. Here is where the Heartland Institute gets it wrong:

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Education Department Misses Deadline for Corrected Practice Test | Jackson Clarion-Ledger
The Mississippi Department of Education missed a self-imposed deadline for posting corrected practice tests aligned to the state’s Common Core Standards. This is the first year Mississippi will use tests produced by Questar Assessment Inc., after the state removed itself from the PARCC consortium. “We want to ensure that all corrections have been made,” said a spokesperson for the Department.