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Kelley O’Hara’s Game Plan for Success | Learning Heroes
USA Women’s Soccer Champion Kelley O’Hara has partnered with Learning Heroes in an ad that launched nationwide over the weekend. In the ad, Kelley highlights the importance of having a “game plan for success,” setting high standards, and not shying away from testing yourself – opting in, not out.

Military Children Must Have Higher K-12 Education Standards | Association of the United States Army
Ensuring students have access to a consistently high-quality education is doubly hard for military families who must relocate frequently, which is why current and former military spouses launched Military Families for High Standards. The coalition calls for academic standards that “are on a par with college- and career-ready standards like the Common Core.” “Sacrifices made by service members to the nation shouldn’t include a quality education for their children,” write Christi Ham and Jim Cowen. Like them, last year Mary Scott Hunter advocated, “Military families deserve peace of mind that their children will be able to easily transition from one classroom to the next. The Common Core State Standards…address the lack of consistency and provide a threshold of learning expectations.”

Schools Need New Test to Close Gaps | Des Moines Register
While the state of Iowa boasts some of the best academics in the nation, “there are noticeable gaps between proficiency levels on our current state assessment and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),” write Martha Bruckner, Jane Lindaman and Jo Ellen Latham, all district school administrators. “The good news is that the state maintains incredibly strong academic standards [Iowa Core]…The state also needs to have an assessment that is aligned to those standards.” As the authors point out, high-quality assessments like Smarter Balanced have enabled states to significantly close their Honesty Gaps. “We hope the Legislature, the governor’s office, and the Iowa Department of Education…provide funding for Smarter Balanced.”

Correcting the Record:

New York Professor Says Algebra Is Too Hard, Schools Should Drop It | Breitbart News
Author and Queens College professor Andrew Hacker argues that high schools should remove Algebra as a graduation requirement. “One out of five young Americans does not graduate from high school…The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker says. “The Math People take over and ignore much simpler needs… And this is getting worse with Common Core.” In fact, Common Core State Standards create a logical progression of learning that helps students build the math skills necessary to graduate high school prepared to step into college- or career-level work. Here is where Hacker gets it wrong:

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Reach of PARCC, Smarter Balanced Drops Sharply in 2015-16 | Education Week
Thirty-two percent of U.S. public school students live in states using PARCC or Smarter Balanced assessments this school year, down from 46 percent of students last year. Massachusetts will give districts the choice of what test to use. Louisiana and Michigan are blending items from PARCC or Smarter Balanced with state-designed material. Even fewer states are administering the consortia tests at the high school level, the article adds. “Flipping back and forth between last year’s and this year’s charts, you can see more states trading PARCC or Smarter Balanced for other tests.”

Here’s an Early Look at Education Legislation Proposed This Year | Education Week
Analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows a drop-off in the volume of bills filed in state legislatures related to “college and career readiness standards.” The majority of the legislation, about 500 bills, deal with assessment, and many deal with assessment in conjunction with other issues. So far in 2016 there have been 34 bills to revoke a state’s adoption of Common Core State Standards, down from 49 such bills last year. Forty-six bills have been introduced that would allow parents to opt their students out of state assessments, about equal to the 48 bills introduced last year.

Anti-Common Core Resolution Fails in Wappingers | Poughkeepsie Journal
A resolution that sought to have the school board of Wappingers, New York “recognize” and address local concerns about Common Core State Standards failed 7-1 during a vote on Monday night. Board members said the resolution was largely irrelevant. “Nobody is doing anything beyond what the law permits,” said Seema Rizvi. “It is redundant to pass a resolution for something already being done.”