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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…)

Common Core repeal efforts stall in face of public support for higher standards

When Republicans won majorities in statehouses across the nation, many newly-elected leaders assumed it would be the end of the Common Core standards. However, even states with conservative majorities have seen almost no real policy change regarding the standards. In an article for Education Post, conservative communication strategist and Executive Director at the Collaborative for Student Success, Karen Nussle, says that these repeal efforts have amounted to “more fizzle than spark.”


Embracing Common Core as a building block for state standards: A Florida principal’s experience

In a response letter to a worried New York principal, a high school principal in Ocala, Florida wrote of her state’s enthusiastic adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). (more…)

This American RadioWorks documentary about the Common Core that gets to the heart of the matter

Whatever you might think about the Common Core, you owe it to yourself to listen to this 53 minute American RadioWorks documentary on the standards (or read the transcript).  American RadioWorks has proved in over 100 education essays and documentaries to be a balanced and reliable searcher of the truth about American public education and this new documentary is true to that spirit.

The piece contrasts an enthusiastic and successful Nevada rollout of the new standards with the poisonous atmosphere New York created with its premature and poorly developed Common Core testing.   (more…)

North Carolina pols reexamine the Common Core but educators say, “I don’t understand what the fuss is about”

Last March, the New Hampshire Legislature came down firmly in support of the higher Common Core standards and the accompanying Smarter Balanced assessment, but the political debate is alive and well in some other states.  Here’s a typical snapshot from North Carolina where, as in New Hampshire, educators don’t see what all the fuss is about: (more…)

9th grade English teacher: If schools trust their teachers, the Common Core will free them to teach

Here is the most useful kind of Common Core discussion – direct classroom experience.  Jessica Pointer, a 9th grade English teacher in Tennessee, talks in a Fordham Institute post about the benefits of developing her own curriculum for the new standards.

This local hands-on approach is the practice in the many New Hampshire schools I have visited, from Manchester to the North Country.  That’s probably why there is such wide support for the standards here. (more…)

NEA delegates love Common Core Math – EdWeek

EdWeek reporter Liana Heitin, wandering the floor at the NEA convention, heard the same thing we hear from New Hampshire teachers about the Common Core math standards: (more…)

Yet another illustration of how NY damages public education by missing the Common Core boat

As everyone knows by now, New York has made a mess of its Common Core implementation and, as a media center, has been a drag on the nation’s perception of the new standards.  In yet another example, NPR uses a New York State curriculum expert to describe a sample English curriculum, illustrating both the scripted nature of New York’s curriculum guidance and a basic misunderstanding of the standards. (more…)

Teacher accountability: other states are beginning to look more like NH

The New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Barry negotiated a No Child Left Behind waiver that avoided in New Hampshire the requirement for high-stakes testing that teachers contend with in many other waiver states.  We’re a local control state, so districts have the high-stakes option, but high-stakes is not policy in New Hampshire.  Now other states are coming around to that policy. (more…)