Common Core Communication Network: News and Opinions

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How Well are American Students Learning

Description: Tom Loveless of the Brookings Insitute’s Brown Center on Education Policy reviews the results of the Brown Center Report, which examines trends in instruction and achievement across the country. The first section, dealing with the effects or correlation of Common Core adoption, looks at changing trends in emphasis in reading and math instruction, and changes (or lack thereof) in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results.


Common Core's major political challenges for the remainder of 2016

Description: Tom Loveless of the Brookings Insitute's Brown Center on Education Policy addresses the results of a recent report on the status of Common Core reforms and recent test scores.  Of particular concern is a finding that NAEP scores so far do not seem to be higher in states that have adoped CCSS. Loveless discusses the political implications of this finding, cautions against changes to the NAEP that could be interpreted as rigging the results, and looks ahead to the rest of 2016 as pivotal to the ultimate success of CCSS.


Louisiana Teachers Show How Common Core Advances Classroom Learning

Description: Podcast and full transcript of an interview with two 4th grade teachers — one language arts, one mathematics — from Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Conducted as part of Learning First Alliance’s podcast series Get it Right: Common Sense on the Common Core, the interview explores how the adoption of Common Core has changed their specific teaching styles for the better, and how the “deep learning” associated with the changes have helped students achieve what they could not before. Topics include the importance of institutional support, communicating about the changes with parents, and the feeling that good teachers will want to keep some aspects of Common Core even if the state should back away from it for political reasons. Published March 2016.


How the GOP Turned on Common Core

Description: This online article from Newsweek describes the Common Core's fall from grace among Republicans, particularly those considering running for President. The program many Republican leaders once supported has suffered from Tea Partiers describing it as a way to "eliminate local control, limit parental involvement, open the door to invasive data collection, provide little options for reform, and cater to special interest influence in individual classrooms.” Learn what went wrong with Common Core support among Republicans and how the media contributed to its negative perception.


The Surprising Conservative Roots of the Common Core: How Conservatives Gave Rise to ‘Obamacore’

Description: Did you know that the Common Core actually has conservative roots? As far back as the late 1980s, education leaders have been attempting to launch nationwide standards for K-12 public schools. Learn about these little-known truths and find out facts about the Common Core effort and its origins.


How Do You Build Public Support for the Common Core?
Strategic Communications

Description: The Learning First Alliance has released a blog post highlighting the key factor in building public support for Common Core — strategic communication. Although the Common Core has become a contentious, polarizing movement in many places, a report from The Hunt Institute shares why Kentucky and Tennessee in particular have not seen the same effects. The report highlights eight important factors for why this may be, all relating back to effective communication.


Pearson Responds to Criticism About Its Standardized Tests

Description: After Pearson came under fire on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" show, Valerie Strauss featured a response in her Answer Sheet column in the Washington Post, by Alfred G. Binford, managing director of assessment and direct delivery at Pearson. The headline that Pearson put on the post was: “New State Tests Are One Piece of An Improving Education System.”


A Struggle Worth Having for Students

Description: In a Washington Post op/ed, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz makes his case for supporting the Common Core. Colorado unveiled Common Core five years ago, and while the process has been difficult, Kyle explains that the challenges helped educators do their jobs with more intention and understanding.


How Kentucky became a rare Common Core success story

Description: The Common Core State Standards have lost support, but Kentucky shows that it can work if implemented as intended. Here are three ways Kentucky become the Common Core "poster child" and what others can learn from the state's success.


Five Key Insights Into Parents' and Teachers' Views on Common Core

Description: Gallup recently produced a four-day report of Common Core opinion polls of parents and teachers. To wrap up the coverage, Gallup packaged need-to-know information based on the polls and released it on October 31.


State 'Report Card' Shows Steady Improvement for JCPS

Description: Kentucky, a Common Core early-adopter, shows improvement in college and career readiness as evidenced on state tests, according to the state Department of Education.


New Twist in Common Core Wars

Description: Politico outlines the latest concern for Common Core critics -- testing contracts. Several states have pulled out from using Common Core-approved tests, citing concerns over lack of options for test materials, using federal funds for state testing, and a perceived focus on testing rather than learning.


How to Talk Publicly About the Common Core

Description: NSPRA's Senior Common Core consultant, Jim Dunn, APR, was recently featured in AASA's School Administrator magazine explaining how to talk publicly about the Common Core. Check out this archived article from the organization's Common Core-focused May issue.


Four Reasons that Critics of the Common Core Should Reconsider Their Opposition

Description: In an opinion piece featured in The Heichinger Report, Brookings’ Institution’s Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell West reviewed information from sources outside of the education realm and how they relate to the Common Core. They found that, if Common Core is implemented as planned, critics would likely have little to criticize.


Common Questions on Common Core Part 3: How it’s working in Md., what it costs

Description: The final piece in a three-part Common Core-focused feature from Marylandreporter.com focuses on how implementation is going in Maryland, and what it costs to change to this system.


PARCC: Lessons Learned

Description: Laura Slover, CEO of PARCC, Inc., wrote about how the first round of field testing went for the Common Core test provider. She outlined some of the things that they learned after this trial run and what the plan was for future field testing.


Common Questions on Common Core Part 2: New requirements and tests in Md.

Description: The second installment of a three-part Common Core explanatory series from Marylandreporter.com focuses on how the Common Core affects Maryland students and schools. It also looks at the struggle to implement the changes due to limited options.


Vision Meets Reality: Common Core in Action

Description: For several years, the idea of how the Common Core would change education has only been just that – an idea. Education Week has compiled some articles to show how these ideas are becoming a reality across the nation.


School Superintendent Posts Letter on Common Core

Description: In his letter to parents in Livonia, New York, Superintendent Matthew Cole said critics of the Common Core are not focused on helping improve teaching and learning. Instead, criticism is fueled by creating buzz around the issue and making a political statement.


Studies Offer Insights on Implementing Common Core

Description: Ed Week has shed some light on perceptions and expectations educators have regarding the Common Core and its implementation. The studies show that it is important for leaders to consider and make use of teacher input. The article also discusses how to navigate score drops.


Understanding the Common Core Curriculum: A Guide for Parents

Description: As Common Core implementation rolls out, it is important to educate parents on the curriculum. Scholastic has developed a guide to help parents understand what the Common Core means for their children.


The Misguided War on the Common Core

Description: In Indiana, Governor Mike Pence faces major potential political consequences if he vetoes a two-page bill requesting Indiana completely withdraw from the Common Core. The state has drafted very similar higher standards to the ones outlined by the Common Core, so the potential veto is meant to send a political statement rather than stagnate education's progress in Indiana. Most states that have attempted to pass legislation to withdraw from the Common Core have failed.


Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementers

Description: This article, which first appeared in the Fordham Institute’s Education Gadfly Weekly, outlines key findings from research on early Common Core implementers. One key finding: Implementation gains traction when district and school leaders lock onto the Common Core standards as the linchpin of instruction, professional learning, and accountability in their buildings.


Common Core's Greatest Challenge: Testing Students' Ability to Think

Description: An educator in Kansas City, MO shares insight on the Common Core with a reporter. He says, "This is how I used to teach." The article says that the issue isn't so much the content of the Common Core, but how to successfully link that content to improving students' ability to think through testing. Students, educators, and administrators all share their thoughts and evidence that the Common Core is beneficial.


Teachers Lead the Way in Nevada Leader's Common-Core Project

Description: Education Week highlights the work of Washoe County, Nevada's Aaron Grossman, curriculum specialist, and his team of teachers devoted to figuring out how to make the Common Core most effective in their district. These teacher leaders are able to offer a different perspective than typical top-down mandates that might not take the whole picture into account. With this different approach, educators in the district feel that they are better preparing students for college and careers.


The Common Core's Unsung Benefit: It Teaches Kids to Be Good Citizens

Description: While the Common Core has become a partisan issue in some areas (with both sides expressing concerns), it is important to recognize that the reform can help students become better American citizens by "reinvigorating the democratic purpose of public education." High school students are to read the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the American Constitution, and President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address under the standards. Then they will think critically, analyze and engage in debate regarding the content of these documents.


Name Game: Amid Opposition, States Change Title of Common Core

Description: Some state legislatures are choosing to rename their states' Common Core standards to reflect the fact that they are simply updated education standards that each state has the right to modify to a degree. instead of a federal takeover of public education.


A Viable Common Core?

Description: Educators and others take part in a national debate over the new learning standards, a feature of the Sunday Review in the New York Times.


A Common Battle for Common Core

Description: Recently Kansas met to consider legislation that would stop Kansas from adopting the Common Core. More than 70 people testified about the benefits and weaknesses of the reform movement. This article reflects a common issue that many states face as implementation is quickly approaching.


Teacher Support for Common Core at ‘Critical Juncture’

Description: When Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (NEA), wrote an open letter expressing concerns over the Common Core's implementation, he intended to sound a very loud alarm bell. He succeeded. Read more about what happened from Politico.com.


Common Core Fight Makes Odd Politics

Description: An opinion piece out of Decatur, Ala. shares the problem with Common Core critics, claiming that their arguments are either ironic or disingenuous.


Review: Common Core Not Federal Power Play

Description: This article includes a video of learning using standards set forth by the Common Core at Avon's Riverside Elementary School that serves to further its point. Mississippi's watchdog group put out a 94-page report saying that there is no credible evidence that the Common Core is an attempt to take away state or local rights to educate children.


Teaching and Learning Over Testing

Description: In a new blog from AFT President Randi Weingarten, she explains why she supports the Common Core but is overall opposed to standardized testing and "other failed market-based education strategies." The answer, she says, is because Common Core is designed to be about learning, not testing. The Common Core has remarkable potential of legislators let the reform be what it is and stop trying to reduce it to test scores.


Florida Education Leaders Recommend Changes to Controversial Common Core Benchmarks

Description: Despite making nearly 100 changes to Florida's version of the Common Core State Standards, now known simply as the Florida Standards, some parents and other critics refuse to support the reform. Others see the changes as a sign that the legislature is listening.


Common Core Opponents to Keep Children out of School Monday

Description: To protest the Common Core, some parents kept their children out of school on November 18. One parent in Rochester, NY who was interviewed said that her children do not feel comfortable taking standardized tests and that it was too much pressure for a young child, so she was keeping her children out of school for the day to send a message. The Superintendent of that district wondered if that was the right message.


Reject Common Core Tests in Grades K-2

Description: In a joint op-ed from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, and early childhood education expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige, they assert that Common Core's focus on assessments, particularly in early grades, does a disservice to students and the teachers who serve them.


Parents Get Schooled in Common Core for ELA, Math

Description: Parents of Long Beach (N.Y.) School District learned how to help their students with math and English/language arts after the district conducted a workshop for them. Then they learned how to interpret test scores based for the first time on Common Core State Standards. Here is a link to the presentation that they used.


A Parent’s Concern about the Common Core

Description: In a letter-to-the-editor-style article, a retired school principal answers questions submitted by her readers. One parent wrote asking how her student, who is learning English, as a second language, would be able to succeed with the new standards. The response could be adapted to respond to similar concerns in your school community.


Dispelling Common Core Myths

Description: Myths are running rampant about the Common Core, despite people's best efforts to share the truth. In this article and SlideShare presentation, learn the facts behind the Common Core.


Fact-checking Attacks on Common Core School Standards

Description: This is an article focused on dispelling rumors in Florida about the Common Core. Learn the truth about data collection, curriculum changes, and level of teacher involvement in the standards’ development. There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors out there about the Common Core, and it’s important to know the truth about them.


Common Core Is Brainchild of State Educators, Not a Federal Power Grab for Kids’ Minds

Description: Kansas is strategically developing a communication plan to educate its communities about the Common Core to clear up rumors that are not true. Diane DeBacker, the Education Commissioner in KS, is sending a letter to politicians responsible for spreading misinformation. Learn more about the information campaign in the article.


Work on Common Core Resuming Immediately, Michigan Education Superintendent Says

Description: Michigan halted its implementation of the Common Core when enough of the state’s politicians voiced concern. However, after a state Senate vote, spending and work related to the Common Core has resumed. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said, “To help all our students succeed, our collective work needs to be focused on having rigorous standards; effective and valuable assessments aligned to those standards; and high quality and effective educators.”


3 Ways Parents Can Help Teachers

Description: In an article written by a teacher who is also a parent, learn three ways parents can help their students, not only with the Common Core, but with their academic journey in general.


Demand for Testing Products, Services on the Rise

Description: With the Common Core education reform, schools must update their testing products and services to remain up-to-date. Learn what is happening in the world of academic testing, how to assess the quality of different test support providers, and everything else you need to know to share the best information with your stakeholders.


Support for Common Core Strong in U.S. Military

Description: Although the Common Core has met with some pretty serious opposition, the U.S. military supports it for several key reasons. First, military families are very transient, so nearly-nationwide education standards would finally allow students to pick up where they left off from school to school. Also, with schools all teaching the same thing, it could help improve living conditions for military personnel. Finally, better-educated soldiers could help improve national security.


Two New Math Programs Help Georgia Students and Teachers Meet More Rigorous Common Core State Standards

Description: The Georgia State Board of Education has reviewed and recommended two newly developed high school programs aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS): Carnegie Learning CCGPS Analytic Geometry and CCGPS Advanced Algebra. The courses deliver highly personalized mathematics learning for students of varying skill levels. The curricula are written specifically to meet the requirements of the CCGPS and to support mathematics instructors in the transition to the new common core standards.


Highland Park and Deerfield Teachers Say Common Core Approach Shifts Focus to Students

Description: An article describes what is happening at an Illinois school as it transitions into using the Common Core to teach students. Although quantitative data might be hard to come by for a few years since the program is so new, teachers say that they are seeing positive impact on student achievement already. According to the article, the Common Core standards are more guideposts than maps at the moment. As a result, a lot of teachers are making it up as they go along, because few effective teaching models have been shared to date.


Teachers in Common Core States "Enthusiastic" about Implementation

Description: A report from Scholastic and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that most teachers are aware of the Common Core State Standards and the majority is enthusiastic about their implementation in states where they will be implemented. This is just a selected preview of what the full report reveals. The full report will be made available in the coming months.


Common Core Q&A: Explaining New Standards for Florida Students

Description: A Florida newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, answers some frequently asked questions regarding the Common Core. Questions include why the new standards are better than Florida’s old ones, why people oppose the Common Core, and concerns over student security, in addition to teacher feelings about the reform and new tests.


Common Core Renamed to "Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards"

Description: A micro-article explains Arizona legislature’s decision to rename the Common Core State Standards.


Business Groups Crank Up Defense of Common Core

Description: A Sept. 24 article from Ed Week describes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s attempts to dispel myths about the Common Core, and encourage support from businesses for the reform. However, it seems that large-scale, national support isn’t what will win people over, and that extremists on each side of the political spectrum are fervently opposing the new standards.


Description: Common Core’s Testing Woes

A short article from the National Journal about what the Common Core was supposed to be – a positive education reform – vs. what it has become – a hotly-contested political agenda item – says that the sticking point for many Common Core critics is standardized testing.


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Adopts Misleading Arguments to Attack Common Core

Description: From Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog group, an article corrects the mischaracterizations of the Common Core in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial.


13 Extreme Statements Made About the Common Core Standards

Description: A quick-read article from the Huffington Post shares 13 of the most outrageous criticisms of the Common Core. Many allude to America becoming like Nazi Germany or the reform bringing an apocalyptic shift to education as we know it.


A Showdown on Common Core Testing

Description: An LA Times editorial describes the disagreement between the state of California and the Obama administration in regards to standardized testing during the state's transition to the Common Core curriculum standards. The contentious disagreement is not serving the best interests of the students, according to the editorial.


Poll: Majority of Teachers Support Common Core

Description: In poll from the National Education Association (NEA) and shared by US News, we have learned that although 75% of teachers support the Common Core, they are unsure that the standards will be able to be adopted exactly as planned. "Our members support the Common Core Standards because they are the right thing to do for our children," NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement. "We all need to work together – parents, education support professionals, teachers, administrators, communities and elected officials – to make sure we get this right."


Will New Common Standards Mean Less Teaching to the Test?

Description: Some standardized exams under the Common Core State Standards will continue to rely on multiple-choice questions, leading to concerns that rote memorization and "teaching to the test" will remain in classrooms. Lia Crawford, the elementary-math supervisor in a Florida district, challenged that idea during a summer training session. "If you guys continue to have your students (be) really deep thinkers and problem-solvers, the test won't be an issue," Crawford said.


What to Make of the Debate Over Common Core

Description: Among people who are aware that the Common Core exists, a war rages. Supporters assert the possibilities of Common Core, encouraging students to think and analyze instead of memorize test answers. Critics cling to the notion that this is a federal mandate in sheep’s clothing, and that students privacy may be intruded on. Here’s what you need to understand about what others are saying and what the truth is about the Common Core.


An Idiot’s Guide to the Common Core

Description: In an Independent article, the author uses California schools as the example to explain Common Core school reform. They spoke with several California teachers to learn what the changes mean: how does it work, why does it work, and how does it help? This puts Common Core in concrete terms to help people understand what it really does and will look like.


Common Core: A Puzzle to Public

Description: According to research cited in this EdWeek article, (note: to access the full article, you’ll need an EdWeek subscription) most Americans barely even know the Common Core exists. Even the majority of K-12 public school parents are unaware of the new movement. This article contains some key information about how informed, uninformed, or misinformed your school community may be about the Common Core. Use it to help frame your messaging.


The Common Core and the Common Good

Description: Charles Blow illuminates a problem in American education in an opinion piece for the New York Times. He cites several studies showing that the American public wants students to learn the types of things the Common Core is poised to teach them, and that learning objectives need to change for our students to become and remain competitive academically against their international peers.


Common Core a Steep Climb

Description: One of the nation’s most prominent education publications, Education Week, created a four-part series on the Common Core. Common Core: A Steep Climb highlights Washington D.C.’s commitment to the Common Core, a veteran teacher struggling to prepare her students for the new standards, preparing for year-end tests, and finally a free Common Core chat that was hosted on June 17.


Extreme Common Core Rhetoric Clouds Serious Debate

Description: In a May 1, 2013 post from The Answer Sheet, Valarie Strauss warns against making the Common Core such a political issue that it prevents people


Transition to New Core Takes Time

Description: A commentary piece from Questar III BOCES, a communication services organization in Castleton, N.Y., in response to the low test scores released in New York State last week. It appeared in the August 13, 2013 Times Union, which covers the Albany and Capital Region area. It calls for a thoughtful response.


Arizona Students Face New Common Core Standards

Description: An article explaining the Common Core as it is introduced to Arizona educators. It touches on changes to testing, uncertainty with what to expect, and the hopes they have for improving education in the state, whether Common Core is the answer or not.


Minnesota Braces for Scores to Drop with New Common Core Tests

Description: In Minnesota, schools are proactive in preparing families for a perceived testing dip, saying that although scores may be lower, it has more to do with different criteria being observed than a lack of quality education. With any new program, it takes a while to get used to it and get the kinks out, so parents and students should not be upset by a lower score, but happy for more rigorous education.


Common Core Standards Early Results from Kentucky Are In

Description: Kentucky was one of the first states to begin implementing the Common Core State Standards. Michael Morella of US News interviewed the state’s Commissioner of Education, Terry Holliday, to find out how the state was reacting to the first round of testing and what others can expect as they begin implementation and testing.


All Students Can Meet the Deeper Learning Bar Set by Common Core

Description: An article co-written by Robert Lenz, cofounder and CEO of Envision Schools and Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former West Virginia governor, for the Huffington Post about how all students can meet the deeper learning bar set by Common Core.


War on the Core

Description: An op/ed by Bill Keller in the New York Times that explains how  Republican Party extremists seem to have a vendetta against the Common Core, believing it to be a dangerous federal scheme to control children's minds.


Don't Politicize the Common Core State Standards!

Description: An article written by a member of the Learning First Alliance appeared on the Transforming Learning EdWeek blog. The author, a parent, says that Common Core State Standards should not be politicized or demonized. He asserts that quality education needs to be assured in each state, and that this program could finally bring that assurance to fore.


Some Ask: What's the Value of the Common Core?

Description: Students in a school in Kansas are researching the Common Core to see whether the new standards are likely to benefit them. The school's principal is fearful that the Common Core will fall short of what it is intended to do, and will cost educators money they don't have with new tests and curriculum to match.


Five Quick Thoughts on the Common Core

Description: Kyle Baker, education consultant and director at Peak Collaborative, jotted down his thoughts about the Common Core after reading an article from the website Mother Jones. The well-balanced and thoughtful piece is informal but thoughtful. He views the Common Core as an opportunity in education to continue to grow and achieve.


Common Core State Standards: Get It Right

Description: President of the National Education Association (NEA), Dennis Van Roekel talks about what the Common Core needs to have it be a success – stakeholders working together with the “time and tools they need to succeed.” He clarifies some areas of concern and says that tests need to assess what students learn, not anything else.


Five Key Questions about the Common Core Standards

Description: In an article by Valarie Strauss of the Washington Post, Young Zhao, presidential chair and associate dean for global education at the University of Oregon’s College of Education, cites his concerns over the Common Core. He asserts that we are trying to perfect a broken system and that an overhaul of what we teach instead of how we teach it is the key to future academic success and preparation for life after school. He compares the CC Standards to a bet, the stakes of which are millions of children’s educational lives. This piece is adapted from his book, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (Corwin, 2012).


David Musselwhite: Values of the Common Core: Equity, Competition, and Collaboration

Description: David Musselwhite, Common Core State Standards Initiative Team Leader for the Michigan PTA, wrote a response to a piece that appeared in an earlier EdWeek blog, questioning whether the Common Core is meant to instill authoritarianism. He says that the Common Core is meant to bring out a healthy sense of competition, equity, and collaboration. He says that American students’ poorer academic performance necessitates an upheaval of the current educational program. He supports the Common Core as a solution to helping students catch up to their international counterparts.


Common Core Values: Do they Include Authoritarianism?

Description: In an EdWeek blog post, former high school teacher and professor at Georgia State, Jack Hassard, suggests that the Common Core could be little more than an attempt to make students automatons. He says that they are against the progressive values that our country was founded upon.


Common Core Foes Spreading Misinformation, Duncan Says

Description: Education Secretary Arnie Duncan responded to criticism about the Common Core, saying that issues are “imaginary” and an attempt to misinform the American public. He urged journalists to learn and report the truth about the promise of the Common Core. He said, “The New York Times has called the Common Core 'a once-in-a-generation opportunity' to bring our public schools up to levels of our high-performing international competitors.” Read the full content of his speech delivered Tues., June 25 to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.


The Common Core Ate My Baby and Other Urban Legends

Description: Timothy Shanahan, noted literacy expert, dismantles five myths about the Common Core and shares the truth about them instead in an Educational Leadership blog from ASCD. Told in an urban legend style, he is able to poke fun at the hype and get to the facts.


Myths and Realities Surrounding the Common Core

Description: Educator Kaycee Eckhardt discusses some key Common Core criticisms in an April 2013 column featured in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Casper Star-Tribune, She simply and clearly dispels some of the larger arguments against the Common Core's ability to be effective and bring about real change for American students.


The Tea Party Is Wrong on the Common Core Curriculum

Description: Delaware Governor Jack Markell op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post, highlights the key ways that the Tea Party is incorrect in its assault on the Common Core. He says that while the group claims the reform is from the federal government and will eliminate local control of schools, neither is true. He goes on to state the benefits the Common Core will lead to, such as similar expectations for students moving from state to state and increased ability to compete in the global job market.


Fear the Great Bamboozle

Description: In a “mad-as-hell-and-I-am-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” approach, and with touches of hyperbole to make contrasting and emphatic points, Jim Dunn shares his personal opinion on the rhetoric and tactics of education critics. NSPRA is pleased to present this passionate think piece for our members. And as our legal counselors tell us all the time, the opinions expressed by Jim are Jim’s alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of NSPRA.


Separating Fact from Fiction about Common Core Education Standards

Description: A Q-and-A style article designed to clear up some misconceptions about the Common Core from The Miami Herald. The article begins by sharing some criticism the Common Core has faced from Tea Party critics, specifically in Alaska, which is one state that has not adopted the new standards.


Common Core Supporters Firing Back

Description: Supporters of the Common Core are moving to confront increasingly high-profile opposition to the standards at the state and national levels by rallying the private sector and initiating coordinated public relations campaigns as schools continue implementation. State education officials, the business community, and advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to buttress support for the standards and to counter what they say is misinformation. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of edweek.org, 05/14/13)


Common Core Standards: Why They Are A Good Idea

Description: In an op-ed from Eagle County School District in Colorado, an instructional coach and former eighth-grade teacher says that the Standards are a good thing. A district known for being "ahead of the curve," it has accepted the CCSS and says that they are a step toward equity in education.


Diane Ravitch: Wrong on the Common Core

Description: After Diane Ravitch posted a blog about how she can't support the Common Core, Marc Tucker wrote a blog for Ed Week as a rebuttal. He says that although the new measures are untested, they represent what American educators want their students to know. He doesn't believe, as Ravitch does, that these new standards will be a detriment to American children. He sees them as an opportunity for our schools to do better, even if the standards aren't perfect yet.


Common Core Standards Are Important for Louisiana Students: Letter to the Editor

Description: Janet Bean, Chair of the Education Committee for Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, wrote a letter to the editor dispelling myths about the Common Core that she's hearing in her area. She says the Common Core will allow students in Louisiana to get the academic rigor they need.


In Defense of the Common Core Standards: Letter to the Editor

Description: If you are looking for ways to respond to critics, you could take a look at this letter to the editor for a start. Neil Jaffe says that the most ridiculous and outlandish statements are the ones that make the news, and that's what's happening when people criticize the Common Core. He says the standards raise the bar for students while still allowing educators the freedom to teach in a way that works for them.


The Common Core is Good Conservativism

Description: In an opinion piece in The Washington Post that criticizes conservative opponents of the Common Core, Michael Gerson argues that these opponents are applying a single, abstract principle -- an ideological commitment to localism in education -- and elevating that principle above all others, regardless of conditions and circumstances. Localism is not the answer to our educational problems, and in any event, the Common Core is not a federal approach but a national approach from institutions outside the federal government. There is no ideal ideological world in which state and local control has resulted in education excellence, Gerson writes.


Students Need Challenge of Common Core Standards

Description: In an Op/Ed for an Ohio newspaper, Jeb Bush supports the Common Core State Standards, saying that they are a necessary reform designed to help students in the state achieve higher than they had in the past. He acknowledges that the change will be hard, and that critics will continue to find ways to downplay the Common Core's importance in education, but urges leaders to stay the course, since it will ultimately lead to a brighter future for Ohioan (and American) students.


Schools Are Willing to Change, but Legislators Are Not

Description: In an Op/Ed which appeared in a St. Louis newspaper, Carl Peterson, an avid education commentator, suggests that schools in Missouri want to do better and reform their education practices, but legislators are reluctant to accept the changes. This supposition comes from a conversation he had with Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.


Does the Common Core Demoralize Teachers?

Description: In a Huffington Post op/ed, author Sarah Brown Wessling (2010 Teacher of the Year), shares concerns that face many teachers today regarding the Common Core. She says many teachers feel the Common Core is one more thing added to their already packed school day, and with no competing programs being taken away to focus on successfully implementing it, teachers are wary. She says they are also concerned that it will take away their autonomy. She shares her rebuttals to these concerns and some mantras to help teachers handle these changes and become more effective in the process.


Michigan Legislative Decision Stops Common Core

Description: Michigan has halted Common Core adoption as part of its appropriations bill, not wanting to fund the federally-supported initiative. The state's officials are concerned that the reform is moving to quickly, before people really have a chance to understand what it is and what it means for education in their own state.


EGR Superintendent Says Lawmakers Operating on Misconceptions: Common Core Doesn’t Dictate Instruction

Description: In an op-ed that appeared in School News Network, Charles Honey reports on a major school system's superintendent's concern that lawmakers in her state, Michigan, are halting the Common Core without really understanding what it's about. She says, "They don't want the facts to get in the way of their decisions."


Movement against Common Core education standards hits NC

Description: A reporter for a North Carolina newspaper reports on the arguments critics have taken against the Common Core, what the reform could mean for NC students, and concerns about the validity of the criticism the Common Core is facing (and the validity of some of its critics).


Georgia Withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium

Description: Gov. Nathan Deal and Superintendent John Barge announced that Georgia will not offer a new test tied to the Common Core standards being designed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. They cited its cost as the main reason, which could be more than the entire K-12 testing budget. Georgia will develop its own assessments, possibly in collaboration with other states.


PARCC Test Cost: Higher for Nearly Half the States

Description: The Common Core tests by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, will cost member states $29.50 per student, more than what half the states currently pay for their tests, according to new estimates. The cost of tests by PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are a topic of intense interest as states try to decide their testing plans for 2014-15. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of edweek.org; 07/22/13)


When Bad Things Happen to Good Data

Description: If people in your community are concerned about upcoming test scores associated with the Common Core and what they mean (or what people will decide they mean to serve their own purposes), they should read this article from Education Weekly about the tests frequently called the “Nation’s Report Card,” the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).


AFT's Weingarten Urges Moratorium on High Stakes Linked to Common Core Tests

Description: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Tuesday called for a moratorium on the consequences of high-stakes testing because new standardized assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards are unfairly being given to students before teachers have had time to properly absorb and create curriculum around the standards.


Schools Need a Timeout on Standardized Testing

Description: Montgomery County Public Schools (Md.) Superintendent Joshua Starr wrote an op-ed saying that if schools are forced to continue focusing on tests, they will not be able to implement the Common Core with the attention it deserves. He thinks it has the promise to be a revolutionary, remarkable thing to improve education for American students, but not if their educators are already stretched too thin focused on too many other things. He asserts that the Common Core should be educators’ top priority.


IN OUR SCHOOLS: Delays Predicted in Common Core Success

Description: A Cincinnati newspaper says that although the Common Core is ultimately a good thing, it will likely take awhile for tests to reflect the improvement. Educators are concerned because so much is still unclear about the implementation of the tests, and whether the resources being created to align with the new standards will truly teach what students are meant to learn.


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