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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.


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…)

Rochester teachers Melissa Cunliffe and Sara Cantrell talk about competency based learning and New Hampshire’s new assessment strategy

As one of New Hampshire’s four PACE school districts, Rochester is ground zero for working out the future New Hampshire public education, giving children the opportunity to learn in their own way.  But Rochester’s educators and their leadership are not being shown a new way to teach; they are building new ways for their children to learn, from the ground up.

To see how it’s going, I spent yesterday with the wonderful Maple Street Magnet School principal Robin Brown visiting five schools at every grade level.  I came away amazed at how completely this 4,300 student district and its 346 teachers have committed to their new path. (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…)

Hollis/Brookline High School algebra teacher: “The Common Core is what good teachers have been doing all along!”

At the June 16 Hollis/Brookline Common Core forum, Tammy Leonard, Hollis Brookline High School Algebra II teacher, reported back on how the Common Core math standards have worked on in her classroom.  She found that the new standards enabled her to teach as she had always wanted. (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…)

Jenn Manning, Newton kindergarten teacher: “My students used to write fairy tales. Now they write opinion pieces.”

At the June 16 Hollis/Brookline Common Core forum, Ms. Jenn Manning, Newton Elementary School kindergarten teacher tells it like it is. (more…)

Here are three NH teachers who oppose the Common Core

I always say things like, “Virtually all NH teachers I’ve talked to with Common Core classroom experience are strong supporters of the new standards.”  That’s true.  But still, some NH teachers do disagree with the standards.  Here are three examples. (more…)

Yes, Gates funded the Common Core….but struggle is a still natural part of learning

Today’s Washington Post has a couple of interesting Common Core pieces.

This one is about the role Bill Gates has played in funding the creation and promotion of the Common Core.  It looks pretty factual to me and you get as a bonus an unedited video of the half hour interview the reporter did with Gates.  Although the education reform policies he funds are a disaster for public education, you can see from this report that the idea for the Common Core originally came from an entirely different direction and the fact that Gates has funding the standards has little to do with the quality of the standards themselves.

And to that point, here’s an oped in the Post by math teacher Austen Kassinger who, like most teachers I’ve met who have actually used the standards in their classrooms, says they’re great: