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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…)
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…)
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…)
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.
This Education Week post is a great example of a healthy debate about standards and curriculum. Some say all students should pass Algebra 2. Others, that it should not be required of those who will enter the workforce directly. The debate illustrates how the common core could evolve and be modified on a state-by-state basis to reflect an evolving consensus or local educational priorities.
I’ll leave it for others to decide, but here’s a good summary of the issues:
Should all students take Algebra 2? Florida seemed to say “no” this spring with the passage of a law striking it from graduation requirements. Texas said much the same in legislation Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed this week that also backs away from Algebra 2 for all.
Those steps come as the Common Core State Standards for math set the expectation that all students should meet learning objectives at whats generally considered the Algebra 2 level. The new standards would represent a big shift. About one-quarter of high school students never take the course or its equivalent, based on recent federal data. Also, some math educators say their Algebra 2 courses are about to get tougher as they align with the common core.
….lots more here: Education Week: Questions Arise About Need for Algebra 2 for All.