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Students exceed expectations on Smarter Balanced Assessments in four states–Hetchinger Report

In the four states that released results from their annual statewide assessments–Missouri, West Virginia, Oregon, and Washington–students exceeded expectations on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), reported the Hechinger Report. Experts say that though many factors likely contributed to the results, students are performing better despite the more difficult exam: (more…)

Common Core catalyzes positive change in once-struggling school –Denver Post

After years of chronic under-performance, in 2013 Ashley Elementary School in Denver, Colorado was labeled “accredited on probation.” The school made hiring changes and firmly committed to the Common Core State Standards. Today, it is a completely different school. (more…)

Meaningful application of math concepts means better long-term learning

Madeline Ahearn, school administrator in Eugene, Oregon, wrote recently that the Common Core standards offer students a better chance at success in math.

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Stanford Education Professor: Math is more about deep understanding than memorization — Hechinger Report

In an article for the Hechinger Report, Stanford mathematics Professor Jo Boaler argues that, contrary to popular belief, true math skills come from deep understanding rather than memorization.  This erroneous assumption is widespread and detrimental to math learners who come to believe they simply aren’t “math people.”

The Common Core math standards do, she says, recognize the value of conceptual learning in math, opening the door for more math learners:

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Governor Hassan vetoes SB 101, prohibiting the state from requiring school districts to implement the Common Core standards

Voicing strong support for the Common Core standards and high expectations for our students, Governor Hassan today vetoed SB 101, saying

“…allowing it to become law would have real and lasting consequences to New Hampshire’s economic competitiveness by sending a damaging signal that our state is not committed to the education standards necessary to prepare a 21st century workforce.

….there is no need to pass a law exempting districts from compliance. School districts are already well aware that they have such a choice.

….Common Core has the support of educators and businesses, and of Republicans and Democrats. As this bill has no practical impact, its purpose appears to be that of sending a message, and it is the wrong message.”

Read Governor Hassan’s full message here.

Common thread in successful Common Core adoption: Trust Teachers!

A recent study released by the Center for American Progress suggests that teacher empowerment is the key factor in successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards.

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Models of excellence can help elevate conversation around Common Core and student potential

In a column for Education Week, Rob Berger, Chief Academic Officer for Expeditionary Learning, argues that in order to have an open and honest conversation about Common Core and higher standards, policymakers and educational leaders need models of student work that demonstrate academic excellence and student potential. Without examples of student potential, it is easy for Common Core critics to use the familiar lines–the standards are not age appropriate, they are too difficult, etc. (more…)

Former governor of Arizona rallies support of Common Core as state fights battles similar to ours in New Hampshire

In a letter to the Daily Caller, former Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer defends the state’s decision to adopt the Common Core standards and calls for action against its opponents. Common Core has become a political issue, with opponents trying to undermine the standards by attacking elements of implementation. But Brewer, a Republican, openly advocates for the standards: (more…)

Some thoughts on the Common Core from Kentucky teachers

The Common Core standards are successful in classrooms all over the country, not just here in New Hampshire.  Here a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter conveys telling quotes from Kentucky teachers. (more…)

Op-Ed: State Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio Reviews Standards, Testing Policy

In an op-ed in the Concord Monitor today (here is a full version with links to the statutes discussed), Chairman of the NH State Board of Education and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental Tom Raffio reviewed the State Board’s role in education policy and setting education standards. Fundamentally, Mr. Raffio reminds us that “[i]t may seem at times as if the State Board of Education and the Department of Education create policy. We do not. We implement the policies passed by our Legislature.”

With so much misinformation circulating about education standards and assessments, Mr. Raffio sets the record straight: state standards and accompanying tests have been in place in New Hampshire since the early 1990s. State law requires educational standards, while specifically emphasizing the importance of local control in meeting those standards.

Raffio clarifies a number of other hot-button education issues. On opting-out, Raffio reminds us that while no one likes standardized tests, they’re simply a part of life–from getting a driver’s license to going to college to joining the military. They also give parents and teacher valuable information about student progress, and help add accountability to our schools.

Read Raffio’s full op-ed here.