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No Matter What They Choose To Do, High Standards Are Preparing Students for Their Future Endeavors After High School

Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty have a new piece in American Spectator arguing that Common Core State Standards are misguided because they limit a student’s chance at a “broad academic curriculum” and focus too much on “specific skills” aimed at workforce development. But high standards don’t narrow academic focus, they widen it, better preparing students…

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High Standards Don’t Narrow Academic Focus, They Widen Student Skill Sets

Former Middletown, Rhode Island educator Barbara VonVillas recently wrote to her local paper, The Westerly Sun, expressing her concerns about the changing landscape in education. Among her complaints is the lack of “importance of reading in the development of critical thinking… and a declining focus on civics and history.”  Implying that Common Core State Standards…

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Annual Assessments Are About Improving a Student’s Chance at Success

Annual assessment season is right around the corner, and with it comes the annual clamor from opt-out proponents asking others to join them in having their children not show up for the annual tests.  The same opt-out arguments are being regurgitated in New York right now: the testing culture “is punitive in nature;” assessments put…

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Wisconsin, Like All States, Has Always Been In Control of Its Standards

  Next month, Wisconsin voters will choose whether they want to keep their current Education Superintendent Tony Evers at the helm or elect a newcomer, Dr. Lowell Holtz, to lead the Department. Evers and Holtz recently debated one another on a local news program where Holtz implied that Wisconsin’s Academic Standards were a mandatory “federal…

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High Standards Are Alive and Well in West Virginia

  West Virginia Public Broadcasting recently reported on the current debate in the West Virginia legislature about high, comparable standards. Their headline might lead you to believe that those high standards or anything similar are already gone – or are on their way out the door. But West Virginia has already has already amended their…

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Teachers Recognize the Power of High-Quality Assessments

As spring approaches, schools across the country will have their students participate in statewide annual assessments. With that, inevitably comes the call from a small but vocal chorus of individuals trying to encourage parents to opt their children out of these high-quality assessments. Jen Grana, a parent in New Jersey, recently posted that plea, asking fellow…

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Why Anti-Common Core TwitterBots Won’t Make President Trump “Repeal” High Standards

  On the Huffington Post, Rebecca Klein profiles members of the anti-Common Core movement and their vow to get President Trump to make good on his campaign promise to dismantle the Common Core State Standards.  As one conservative said about the movement, “one thing I know about the Common Core grassroots is they don’t give…

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ESSA Ensures States Will Set Their Own Standards, Not Some Federal Authority

In a new Breitbart column, Dr. Susan Berry suggests that even under the new ESSA “template” released by the Department of Education this week, states will be coerced into implementing Common Core State Standards.  According to Berry, “the department says two private groups that own the copyright of the Common Core State Standards may assist…

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Opting Out Sends the Wrong Message

Diane Ravitch has a new blog post asking readers to help send a message to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about decreasing funding for public education.  One of the tactics she thinks will resonate is having parents opt out their children from taking assessments that are part of the “federal efforts to micromanage your school.” Opting…

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Research Shows High, Consistent Standards Are Best Way to Prepare Students for College and Careers

George Leef’s new piece in the National Review supports Joy Pullman’s view that high, comparable standards are “further lowering the bar for college admission.” According to Leef, “Thanks to Common Core, we’ll probably get more sociologists and fewer engineers.” Yet, teachers, business leaders and community leaders continue to give the standards high marks for setting…

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High Standards Support Critical and Creative Thinking for Students

  A recent letter to the editor to the Lancaster Online in Lancaster, PA suggests that Common Core State Standards have ruined the education of younger generations leading students to confusion, stress, and lack of critical thinking.  As Emily Ditzler wrote, “I hope young children will have an opportunity to realize the importance of critical…

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Blaming Common Core for Decline of Cursive Lessons is Super Misleading

  The editors of The Dallas Morning News are applauding efforts across the country to ensure that cursive writing is taught in their schools. However, the editors’ contention that “cursive writing took another blow when most states adopted Common Core curriculum standards, which no longer required teaching it in public schools,” could not be further…

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Parents and Teachers Don’t Need Incentives to Prove the Value of Assessments

  Valerie Strauss writes in the Washington Post yesterday that “school districts around the country” are now having to incentivize students to take “Common Core” standardized tests to avoid students opting out. Strauss’ anecdotal evidence fails to reflect the fact that most parents and teachers recognize that assessments are one of the best tools to…

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ESSA Was Crafted to Give Control and Oversight Back to States

Outspoken Common Core opponent Sandra Stotsky writes in a recent piece on the conservative website New Boston Post that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has “ensured tighter federal control over state standards and tests,” and makes “all public school teachers, administrators, and students in every state accountable to the federal government.” However, ESSA was…

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Massachusetts Knows How High, Comparable Standards Work

  Massachusetts has been a leader in implementing high, comparable standards. But legislation introduced this past week in the state Senate would eliminate use of these high standards. In a new post, the Tenth Amendment Center argues that passing the legislation would be a positive step forward for the Commonwealth. “Rejecting nationalized education standards is…

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Will Creating a State ESSA Plan Mean Texas Has To Adopt “National Curriculum Standards”?

In a new piece written in Texas Insider, Carole Haynes is sounding the alarm bells that education reform in Texas is being driven by a federal mandate. If passed, she argues the Lone Star State could be headed for “dumbed down national curriculum standards, national curriculum, and [a] national test.” The education reforms she worries…

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Opting Out Is Not the Way to Help New York Students Succeed

New York allows parents to opt out of having their children take the state’s assessments in math and English language arts.  A report this week from the Poughkeepsie Journal examines local opt-out trends in the region and why some parents are opposed to the assessments. Despite opt-out rates remaining flat over the past two years,…

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ESSA Has Already Given States the Ability to Implement What Parents and Teachers Want

  Christine Cooke, an education policy analyst for the Sutherland Institute, argues in a new piece featured in the Salt Lake Tribune that it’s time to “disrupt education by reducing federal power in education and letting states get back to helping kids learn.” As others before her have done, she sees the implementation of high,…

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Eliminating Smarter Balanced May Be More Costly Than West Virginia Thinks

A recent editorial in West Virginia’s Beckley Register-Herald praises the state’s Board of Education for eliminating the use of Smarter Balanced assessments for students in grades 9 and 10 and replacing the test for 11th graders by 2018. According to the editors the move away from Smarter Balanced was “a good one.” As they wrote,…

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States, Not Congress, Control What Standards They Use

Florida Congressman Neal Dunn recently returned to his home district and decided to take the opportunity to deliver a message that “Congress was committed to stopping Common Core” and putting more control back in local hands.  According to the Williston Pioneer, Dunn said, “I want you to know that this Congress is committed to stopping…

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Parents Recognize the Value of High Standards and So Should New Hampshire

  Ann Marie Banfield’s recent Letter to the Editor in Seacoast Online claims that “parents have been waging a war” against New Hampshire’s high, consistent standards and it’s time to drop them. She also argues the state’s Board of Education has been ignoring parents for too long and “implementing the federal Common Core education reforms…

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New Jersey Students Are Rising to the Challenge of PARCC Assessments

  Eileen Cartwright, a resident of Marlboro, New Jersey, recently wrote to the Asbury Park Press encouraging New Jersey legislators to dump its PARCC assessments.  Cartwright argues that these high-quality assessments don’t “reflect what the current [New Jersey] curriculum contains” and that passing the PARCC test is not an adequate means to measure a student’s…

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Kentucky’s High, Comparable Standards Give Teachers Flexibility

Education reform is front and center at the Kentucky General Assembly and there’s no shortage of views on how the state should move forward when it comes to high, comparable standards. Jim Hanna, a former high school teacher in Kentucky, authored a piece in the Lexington Herald Leader arguing that as part of those reforms,…

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Data Shows Overwhelming Support for Idaho’s High Standards

  Elaine King, a former educator from Sugar City, Idaho recently wrote a letter to the local paper encouraging readers to contact legislators and voice their “shared” concerns about Idaho’s high, comparable standards and aligned assessments. As Ms. King expressed in her piece, “It appears that the majority of parents and teachers are opposed to…

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No Confusion About the Success of West Virginia’s High Standards

  West Virginia is once again at a crossroads. For the third year in a row, legislation has been put forward to eliminate the high, comparable standards that have been in place since 2010. Delegate Pat McGeehan has introduced legislation to eliminate West Virginia’s Next Generation Standards, as well as do away with the Smarter…

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What’s Really Happening with West Virginia’s Standards and Local Control

  The Tenth Amendment Center’s recent blog post looking at the legislative effort in West Virginia to “withdraw the state from Common Core standards” misleads its readers on multiple fronts. While the Tenth Amendment Center claims the move is “an important step toward nullifying the nationalized education program” in the state, they are merely perpetuating the…

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States Have and Will Continue to Retain Control of Their Education

Robert Holland of the Heartland Institute argues that if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to improve her standing with grassroots groups across the country she should “live up to her post-nomination renunciation of Common Core” and flex her regulatory authority to “free states and localities from federal control” over standards and assessments. First and foremost,…

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New Course in Michigan May Mean Greater Risks Than Benefits

State Representative Gary Glenn of Midland recently introduced legislation to repeal state Common Core educational standards in Michigan, according to John Kennett of Midland Daily News. Rep. Glenn and his fellow bill supporters claim that the high-quality comparable standards of Common Core are not working and do not take into account local educators’ input. Not…

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Teachers and Parents Know Higher Standards Create Greater Flexibility, Creativity

Neha Ogale and Alex Mazarr have a new piece in Collegiate Times contending that “one of the most problematic aspects of public education lies in standardized testing.”  In addition to supporting their argument with the fallacies that testing only measures “memorization” and stifles creativity, the two writers believe that in “the system as it exists…

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Actually, NewsBusters and TV Land, Higher Standards Aren’t From the Federal Government

  The website NewsBusters recently highlighted an episode of TV Land’s comedy show “Teachers” and how much it showed that Common Core “sucks.”  Unfortunately, neither the reporter nor show creators took much time to research the facts and just repeated some of the most common myths about high-quality assessments and standards. First and foremost, NewsBusters…

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Where DeVos Stands on Standards

  In a piece published by Western Journalism, Janice Daniels contends that Betsy DeVos’ “indefensible support and promotion” of high, comparable education standards should disqualify her from serving as the U.S. Secretary of Education. “Americans need a sound education in American history,” Daniels says, which conflicts with more rigorous education standards. President Trump, she surmises,…

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Smarter Balanced Works For Connecticut’s Students and Teachers

  Smarter Balanced assessments are “a bust” and “continuing these invalid tests comes at a steep price,” argues Wendy Lecker, an attorney with the Education Law Center, in the Stamford Advocate. Among her criticisms, Lecker suggests that there is “no evidence that the SBAC is valid to measure student ‘growth’” and “administrators overwhelmingly agree that…

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In Idaho (and Across the Country) High Standards are Made at the State and Local Level

  District 1 Representative Heather Scott authored an opinion piece where she called for the removal of “federal mandates for local schools” following a rally of Idaho residents who spoke out against the state’s Common Core standards. “Buck the Core” rally participants argued that Common Core was a “top down approach” and “testing has become…

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Here’s What Parents Should Know About Higher Standards

  In Pennsylvania, parents and teachers gathered to discuss their frustrations with Common Core State Standards. Many parents felt “underprepared” when their children ask for help on their homework. However, parents should not get discouraged. There are many resources available for parents to help them understand the higher standards. With many states now using similarly…

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Parents and Educators Agree: Common Core Benefits Far Outweigh False Allegations

Parenting blog Romper raises concerns about higher academic standards, noting that “many parents and teachers take issue with” the educational tools that the standards provide. The post links to a 2015 teacher survey that notes that “only 40 percent of teachers agree with Common Core and approve of its implementation.” However, those arguments run counter…

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No Sunshine In Anti-Common Core Groups’ Inaccurate Claims

  Florida Stop Common Core Coalition (FSCC), a coalition of groups opposed to higher academic standards, is warning Florida lawmakers that it’s time “to put up or shut up and get onboard to end Common Core for good.” Florida adopted their new standards in 2010 but revised them in 2014; these same groups still remained…

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Students Aren’t Singing the Blues in the Bluegrass State Since They’re Doing Better Academically

In a new analysis, the Bluegrass Institute’ Richard Innes points to ACT scores given to all 11th grade public school students as the latest evidence to abandon Kentucky’s rigorous academic standards. Innes claims that, “No matter what testing series is examined, the Bluegrass State always shows serious achievement gap problems,” and points to “chronic achievement…

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Why Would Texas Try to Prohibit High, Comparable Standards?

  Legislation now being considered by Texas lawmakers “would take another important step” to prevent the state’s schools from implementing “nationalized” learning goals, an article by the Tenth Amendment Center suggests. House Bill 1069 would require the state Board of Education to make sure school districts comply with a prohibition on Common Core standards. The…

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U.S. Dept of Education’s School Improvement Grants Had Nothing to Do With Common Core

The Department of Education released a study on its school improvement grant (SIG) initiative yesterday, a program started under President George W. Bush in 2001 that received a large increase of funding under the Obama Administration directing money to struggling schools, including those with low student achievement and graduation rates. However, the report found that…

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Idaho Protestors Would Distrupt Schools, Jeopardize Academic Improvements

  Idahoans for Local Education and Idaho Education Watch will host a “Buck the Core” rally at the Idaho Statehouse next Monday to urge lawmakers to replace the state’s learning goals, Idaho Education News reports. “It’s time for Idahoans to send a clear message to their elected officials that federal and state micromanagement of education…

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Higher Standards Don’t Drown Out History & Social Studies Instruction, They Reinforce It

  States’ implementation of rigorous, comparable education standards and assessments aligned to them has pushed out instruction of U.S. history, columnist Karol Markowicz claims in the New York Post. Markowicz quotes a Brooklyn teacher, who says, “All the pressure in lower grades is in math and English language arts because of the state tests and the…

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The Product of Bipartisan Cooperation, the Every Student Succeed Act Belongs to Local Leaders, Educators

  The Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law to restore greater control to state and local leaders over education, is an opportunity to address problems within our school systems, writes Edward Gaston in LA Sentinel – and we agree. The article’s headline, “Why We Must Defend Obama’s Every Student Succeeds Act,” however,…

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Correcting the Record: High Standards Benefit High- AND Low-Performing Students

  High education standards are not the effective remedy for low-performing students many consider them to be, education researcher John Hattie tells NPR. Rigorous standards have “a very nasty effect,” Hattie claims. “All those schools who take kids in difficult circumstances are seen as failures, while those who take privileged students and do nothing are…

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That First-Grade Math Problem That Went Viral…

After a North Carolina family posted a first-grade math problem on Facebook challenging friends to figure out how to solve the problem, Fox News Insider highlights the post noting that “adults react with consternation to a new brain-teaser.” Yet this piece (and others sharing the family’s Facebook post) neglects to mention that the family was…

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Why West Virginia Would Be Better Off Sticking With Smarter Balanced

  The West Virginia Board of Education is considering replacing Smarter Balanced exams for the state’s high school students, the West Virginia Metro News reports. New tests for high school students would be fully implemented in the 2018-19 school year, if the proposal is finalized. Statistics from the past two years show that many high…

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Retreating from High Standards Would Spell Significant Disruptions for Schools, Teachers and Students

  In his latest “Capturing the Spark” blog, Education Week columnist David Cohen highlights several key policy issues under the incoming Trump Administration. While Cohen points out that education will be more in the hands of states, he makes a gross understatement when he asserts replacing high, comparable education standards “would primarily hurt publishers and…

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Ohio Has Full Ownership of Their Education Standards – and It’s up to States to Keep the Bar High

  In response to an opinion piece alleging that Betsy DeVos is unfit to serve as Secretary of Education because of her position on high, comparable education standards, Ohio resident William Van Metre argues in the Cincinnati Enquirer that policymakers should go further to abolish the U.S. Department of Education entirely. Among the reasons, Van…

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More Rigorous Education Standards Don’t Preclude Character-Building

  States’ commitment to raising academic expectations marginalizes a “vast majority” of children who do not receive recognition for their classroom success, suggests David L. Hough, a professor at Missouri State University, in the Springfield News-Leader. Higher standards, Hough indicates, discourage instruction that emphasizes character development. “What if ‘kindness’ and ‘empathy’ were part of” states’…

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What Questions Should Be Asked at DeVos Confirmation Hearings?

What questions should lawmakers ask U.S. Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos during her confirmation hearing this week? Joy Pullmann says lawmakers should ask what she will do to repeal high, comparable education standards. In her piece in the Federalist, Pullman claims that a rigorous, consistent baseline of student expectations is effectively “an academically mediocre K-12 testing blueprint.” President-elect…

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Bill Aimed at Moving New Hampshire Away from Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards Would Put Students at Risk

Four state Republican legislators in New Hampshire introduced a bill meant to prohibit the state Department of Education and state Board of Education from requiring school districts and schools to adopt education standards developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. The legislation would also require the state General…

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Policymakers Shouldn’t Shy Away from Deeper Math Understanding

  Kentucky state Representative Regina Bunch, who will chair the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education and Workforce Development, says the state is getting rid of its current college- and career-ready education standards, the Kentucky News Journal reports. Questions about the learning goals began to arise, the article suggests, after parents learned…

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Education Expert Says Attacks on Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards Largely ‘Fear Mongering,’ ‘Conspiracy Theories’

A review of several books critiquing states’ rigorous, comparable education standards finds that most “offer more folly than wisdom.” Robert Pondiscio of the Fordham Institute, who led the evaluation, notes that few of the books make an attempt to persuade readers to reject higher standards on “merits or lack thereof.” “Some barely take up the…

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Incoming Education Secretary Has an Opportunity to Encourage States to Further Raise the Academic Bar

  In an opinion piece published by USA Today, Pioneer Institute’s Jim Stergios and Charles Chieppo, argue that rigorous, comparable education standards “reflect a view of public education as just another workforce development program.” Education Secretary-designee Betsy DeVos should change course, the authors contend, by encouraging “the highest performing states and those that had shown…

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Every Student Succeeds Act Puts States Firmly in Charge of Standards and Accountability

  Claims that the Every Student Succeeds Act prohibits federal authorities from requiring states to use certain education standards are not only unfounded, but the law actually imposes comparable standards on the entire country, a Breitbart article alleges. Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project argues that “ESSA actually does the opposite: it keeps states…

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High Standards OR Fun: A False Narrative

  Higher expectations have taken the joy out of learning in early grades, argues Vikki Ortiz Healy, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Equating rigor with doing more is “like trying to teach a baby to walk before it can roll over.” It is difficult for educators to strike a balance between play and learning…

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Literature and Historical Texts Remain a Vibrant and Vital Component of English Language Arts Education

  States’ increased focus on college and career readiness, and specifically the use of non-fiction texts, may be impairing civic engagement, an Education Dive article suggests. “The focus on career and college readiness and training elite workers as a national goal has been misplaced,” argues David Kirkland, a professor at New York University. Policy should…

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High-Quality Assessments Reduce Pressures to ‘Teach to the Test’

  Questioning whether improvements in student proficiency rates on assessments aligned to higher education standards are indicative of student learning, Naomi Nix, a columnist for The 74 Million, argues the results are “hardly a slam dunk.” Instead, Nix suggests, these gains may be attributable to educators gaming the system. “Test scores can become inflated in…

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High Standards Encourage Academic Success for All Students

  Heartland Institute Education Policy Research Fellow Teresa Mull tees off on the poor display of U.S. students on the Program for International Student Assessment, blaming the Common Core standards for schools “no longer teach[ing] reading, writing, and arithmetic.” She argues that under the standards, “math is backwards, confusing… and the reading standards fill students’…

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States Should Focus on Students, Not Politics, in ESSA Plans

  As states develop ESSA implementation plans in preparation to “take on new authority over K-12 policy, “skirmishes are breaking out… over who’s in charge.” Officials are “pointing to nebulous clauses buried in their states’ constitutions” to stake claims on decision-making power but not everyone is in agreement. Adding to the problem is a “rotating…

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DeVos Calls for Local Control – Forgetting that Common Core Remains a State and Local Effort 

Despite the Every Student Succeeds Act prohibiting the federal government from “telling states which standards they can and can’t use,” Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos “doubled down” on her promise to end Common Core over the weekend. She went on to say that “it won’t be Washington, D.C., that unlocks [student] potential… The answer is local…

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Interpreting PISA Results: ‘Keep the Faith’ in Higher Standards

  PISA results released this week reignited debate (which, for all intents and purposes, has been resolved) over states’ commitment to implementing rigorous, comparable education standards – even though most experts, and even many of the same critics, acknowledge it is a mistake to attribute blame or credit to any particular policy. The scores “confirm…

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International Test Results with a Grain of Salt: It Requires Time for Education Policy to Take Root

  We noted yesterday that coverage of the latest PISA results, which were released this week, have drawn attention to the state of math education in the United States. U.S. performance slipped in mathematics and America now ranks 31st among the 35 OECD countries that participate in PISA. However, the scores should not be interpreted…

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Most States Have Already Matched Higher Standards with High-Quality Assessments

  State efforts to implement high, comparable education standards were pushed by the federal government “using federal grants as carrots and waivers from the now-defunct No Child Left Behind Act as a stick,” Nat Malkus of the American Enterprise Institute argues in US News & World Report. To undo the perceived federal overreach, Malkus proposes…

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The Benefits of Putting More Emphasis on Literacy Skills, Beginning in Early Grades

  “There is no evidence that tougher standards lead to more learning,” or that rigorous, consistent education standards “are better at preparing children for college and career than other standards or than no standards,” Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, argues in a letter to the Los Angeles Times. Higher…

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Correcting the Record: Have States Moved Away From High Standards?

  Suggesting that states adopted high, comparable education standards because the federal government “made it very hard to say no,” a video by the Daily Signal claims that since the Race to the Top program ended, “one by one, states have slowly dropped out.” That alleged mass movement away from higher standards, the video adds, was…

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Rigorous standards are predicated on the belief that all students can achieve to high levels

  High, comparable education standards are “a dramatic reduction of the nature and purpose of education to mere workforce preparation,” Gerard Bradley, a Notre Dame law professor, argues on the Witherspoon Institute’s blog. “Rebels” should refocus President-elect Trump’s attention back to “ignite a national movement to roll back [Common Core].” The philosophy behind higher standards,…

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Have States Locked Students into ‘Inferior Education’ through Higher Standards? Quite the Opposite, Actually

  In a Town Hall opinion piece critical of Betsy DeVos’ selection to serve as Secretary of Education, Jane Robbins claims that states’ commitment to high, comparable standards has locked children “into an inferior education.” DeVos “should admit her error and commit herself to work vigorously to fulfill Trump’s promise to restore local control and…

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An Increased Focus on Close Reading Is Helping Students Build Literacy Skills

  Comparing reading trends in the U.S. and Mexico, Peter Smagorinsky, a professor at the University of Georgia, argues in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that states’ focus on “close contextual reading” fails to help students figure out what an author is saying. “Rather than reading for self-exploration, [students] are reading for information and analysis,” the…

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Trump’s Education Secretary Pick Is a Strong Supporter of Rigorous Education Standards

  President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that he will appoint Betsy DeVos, head of the American Federation for Children, to serve as Secretary of Education ignited a lot of speculation about whether Ms. DeVos supports Common Core State Standards. A Breitbart News article calls DeVos “pro-Common Core,” yet other news outlets, like Newsday, claim she is…

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Calls for President-Elect Trump to End Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards Are a Moot Point

  Among the items President-elect Donald Trump has signaled he wants to accomplish in his first 100 days in office is to “end Common Core,” an analysis by the New York Times notes. The piece acknowledges that the move would require support from Congress, and “it is unclear how Congress would get rid of Common…

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High-Quality Assessments Help Ensure New Jersey Students Are Ready for College and Careers

  New Jersey’s PARCC assessments are “widely accepted to be a failure,” and parents should consider opting out their children, argues Jeremy Knoll, an English teacher in Burlington County, in the South Jersey Courier-Post. Testing “should be tied to instruction” and “offer timely feedback that can be used to improve instruction and reach more students….

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Group Urges President-Elect Trump to Do What’s Already Been Done

  An open letter from Parents Against Common Core encourages President-elect Donald Trump to end “Common Core support at the federal level” and return “responsibility for common education directly to the individual 50 states.” Parents’ efforts, the letter claims, “have caused Common Core to be either repealed or modified via law and/or policy all across…

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The President Has Little Control over States’ Use of Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards

  Writing for Breitbart News, Susan Berry argues President-elect Trump’s appointment for Education Secretary could determine whether he is able to follow through on his pledge to “end the controversial Common Core Standards and finally get Washington, D.C. out of education.” “As president, Trump can do a lot to fulfill his promise,” contends Joy Pullmann,…

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New York Is Beginning to Improve Student Outcomes. To Turn Back Would Be a Mistake

Writing in the Westchester Journal News, Nicholas Tampio, an associate professor at Fordham University, argues that New York’s commitment to high, comparable education standards and the “enforcement mechanism of high-stakes testing” is a “scandalous misuse of time, money and energy.” “The state is at a critical juncture when we could leave the Common Core behind,…

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Why State and Local Politicians Should Continue to Embrace High, Comparable Standards

  The biggest threat to rigorous, comparable education standards likely won’t be from the Trump White House, but instead from opponents at the state level, Matt Barnum writes for the 74 Million. “The success of anti-Common Core candidates in multiple states suggest the standards may be at risk – although it’s unclear how much power…

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With the Election Over, What’s Next For States’ Academic Standards?

  Following last week’s election many educators and experts are uncertain what impact Donald Trump’s victory will have on education policy, National Public Radio, along with several other outlets, reports. During the campaign cycle Mr. Trump called high, comparable standards a “disaster” and pledged to “repeal” the Common Core. “Education has to be at a…

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High, Comparable Standards Aren’t Being Dictated Down to Parents – Parents Are Calling for Them

  Writing on the CATO at Liberty blog, Neal McCluskey argues that parents are rejecting high, comparable education standards because they were foisted on states by the federal government. “We all saw populist frustration boil over with the federally coerced Common Core national curriculum standards. Average Americans rejected the Core over paternalistic, ‘you just don’t…

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Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards Are Imperative to a Quality Faith-Based Education, Too

  Catholic schools should “move above and beyond the flawed Common Core Standards by embracing truly Catholic standards of excellence,” the Cardinal Newman Society argues. The article cites eight “bad reasons” Catholic schools should reject high, comparable standards – including a rejection of the fact the issue has been politicized and states are now beginning…

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No, Comparable Education Standards Are Not a Federal Plot to Spy on Students

Citing a report by the California Attorney General, which finds “evidence of companies mining data from school children beyond what’s necessary for their education,” Joe Wolverton claims in the New American that high, comparable academic expectations are responsible for student data collection. “Naturally, much of this data mining comes from the adoption by so many…

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Public Schools “Awash with Bad Ideas”? Not So Fast.

Writing for the Canada Free Press, contributor Bruce Price argues education reform in the United States, including increased focus on critical thinking skills and conceptual understanding, is a bunch of “failed theories and dysfunctional schemes.” “New Math, which the country laughed into oblivion around 1965, came back with multiple variations under the heading Reform Math…

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States Have Set a Higher Bar for Their Students – and Students Are Meeting It

In an opinion piece published by the Huntsville Times, Samantha Rudelich, a University of Alabama senior, argues rigorous education standards are part of the reason states’ education systems “are failing our students.” “Unrealistic standards we require students and teachers to hit contribute to a nationwide state of miseducation,” Rudelich argues. “We rob our students of…

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More Confusion about Which States Are Implementing High, Consistent Education Standards

  Maybe it’s ignorance. Maybe it’s intentional. Whatever the case, there’s been a flurry of recent articles suggesting that the Common Core State Standards have been foisted on states that never adopted the learning goals. We responded to an article recently that alleged an opt-out law in Alaska was a way to “put education back…

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Why Common Core Opposition Isn’t Necessarily an Easy Win Issue for Politicians

  Reporting on a campaign speech delivered by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Washington Post contributor Chris Cillizza claims Mr. Trump’s pledge to repeal the Common Core is among the “easy-win issues for him in the eyes of Republican voters… Conservatives hate the idea of the federal government dictating to them on how best to…

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States Have Used the Common Core to Set High, Comparable Learning Goals. That Is a Huge Success for Schools, Parents and Students

An Education Week map that tracks implementation of Common Core State Standards indicates nine states have announced “major” rewrites or replacements. According to the analysis, those include states like Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and West Virginia. However, nearly across the board, so-called “rewrites” have produced modest changes that tailor the learning goals to…

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Higher Standards Are Fostering Creativity, Critical Thinking In Schools

  Criticizing federal regulations governing teacher preparation programs (it’s unrealistic all teachers can be “great educators,” the author says), Allen Singer pans state efforts to build critical thinking skills in an opinion piece published by the Huffington Post. “Somehow critical thinking is supposed to emerge from packaged standardized instruction and assessments delivered by semi-skilled automatons…

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A Closer Read: Literature Is Still Alive and Well in the Classroom

Writing for the Daily Caller, Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute argues that prior to adopting the Common Core, “literature was central to the Bay State’s nation-leading English standards and tests. As a result, from 2005 to 2013, Massachusetts students outperformed their counterparts from every other state.” All that was “traded away” when the state…

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Frequent Changes to State Tests Has Created Confusion and Disruption in Ohio and Indiana

  District superintendents in Ohio and Indiana separately raised concerns about state assessments and reporting.  In Ohio, school officials cautioned parents not to read too much into recently released school report cards, citing three different tests over the same number of years as the primary reason districts have seen grades worsen, The Suburbanite reports. “It…

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Alaska’s Opt-Out Law Has Nothing to Do with Standards – But It Could Undermine the Value of Good Assessments

A law that allows parents to opt their children out of state standardized tests goes into effect this week in Alaska – which, an article by the Tenth Amendment Center claims, “gives parents a powerful tool to push back against Common Core.” The opt-out movement in New York and other states, the piece adds, is…

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Frustrated with Your Child’s Homework? Look to Your Local Teachers for Help

  Citing a confusing homework problem from the U.K., Romper columnist Becky Bracken claims that there are “plenty of good reasons to hate on standardized testing” and “‘Common Core’ federal testing standards. They make homework even harder for kids and their tired parents.” Only the United States uses Common Core – so it’s silly to…

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Higher Standards Encourage Greater Accountability, Not Less

Thank you to the Bluegrass Institute’s Richard Innes for pointing out our error. The first version of this blog post incorrectly stated that Kentucky had adopted PARCC before it chose the K-PREP assessment. The key point that we wanted to make in our blog post is that, as supporters of high standards, we absolutely encourage…

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New York Is Taking Ownership of Its Learning Goals and Keeping the Bar High for Students

  Writing for the Albany Times Union, columnist Fred LeBrun argues that New York’s Common Core Standards “are not the only high standards possible by a long shot,” and assessments aligned to the standards need “serious study and discussion.” LeBrun claims that the state needs “new New York made tests, used in a sensible teaching…

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Educators Are Using Higher Standards to Foster Creativity in Classrooms

  State commitments to raising education standards have created a system that funnels students “through a uniform pipeline,” argues Jessica Moore in the Maine Campus. “By teaching all students the same way, we fail to foster the diversity which is so critical to society’s success… Have we forgotten the importance of being different?” Students aren’t…

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Going Back to Old Tests Won’t Improve States’ Accountability Systems

States’ accountability systems are broken because “leaders from every quadrant” have failed to incorporate parents’ and communities’ concerns, writes Eric Mason, Colorado Springs School District 11 Director of Assessments, on Chalkbeat Colorado. “We have arrived here because leaders should have asked what their stakeholders wanted and needed. Instead, tests have just gotten longer and more…

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Gains in Student Proficiency Indicate Changes to Math Instruction Are Working

Common Core State Standards emphasize a different approach to math instruction – one that prioritizes conceptual understanding and fluency. That’s an important shift, Keith Devlin, cofounder of BrainQuake, writes on the Huffington Post, because “the kind of mathematical ability required for a productive life is very different from the skill set that has served society…

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Are High Standards Working in States That Adopted Them?

  Steve Hansen, a columnist for the Quay County Sun, argues that assessment results “for kids steeped in Common Core education” are down compared to students in states that did not adopt the standards, which he alleges is evidence that the standards have not delivered on their promise. Hansen using old data, so his conclusions…

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Literature and Storytelling Are Alive and Well in Schools, Even as They Implement Higher Standards

The greater emphasis on informational text as schools implement higher standards “use less of the brain” than storytelling, argue Carol Barash, CEO of Story2 and David Kirkland, an assistant professor at New York University, Education Dive reports. “Storytelling is a much more complicated process” than using informational text, Barash alleges. “There’s this very complex mental…

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Education Next poll shows parents strongly support high, comparable education standards

Citing the latest annual Education Next poll, Independent Journal Review columnist Kyle Becker contends that “backers of the top-down bureaucratic program [Common Core] are losing the culture war.” Becker alleges the “standardized testing agenda” was pushed onto states “without voter input or accountability,” and the standards have “a very negative brand in the mind of…

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High, Consistent Academic Standards Don’t Conflict with Catholic Education

A report by the Pioneer Institute and the American Principles Project argues Common Core State Standards are incompatible with Catholic education because of their focus on workforce preparation. “The basic goal of Common Core is not genuine education, but rather the training and production of workers for an economic machine,” the report claims. “Common Core…

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High Standards and High-Quality Assessments Are Working In the United States

This week the Michael and Gillian Goodrich Foundation hosted the Alabama-Finland Education Summit at the University of Alabama. Keynote speaker Pasi Sahlberg, an author and educator, argued that education systems built on high education standards and high-quality assessments “have never worked” to improve student outcomes. “Accountability is what’s left when you subtract responsibility,” Sahlberg contended,…

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ESSA Gives State and Local Leaders the Opportunity to Step Up and Ensure All Students Needs Are Met

In the opinion pages of the Boston Globe, James Nehring, a Massachusetts professor and former principal, contends that the Every Student Succeeds Act will likely fail to improve student outcomes because the law holds on to accountability requirements “like a dog does a bone.” “The regulatory process associated with implementation will inevitably corrupt the law’s…

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States Are Demonstrating Improvements through High, Comparable Education Standards and High-Quality Assessments

Panning what he calls “political establishment” control, Chuck Tatum, a South Carolina resident, claims the U.S. Department of Education – which “oversaw the destruction of a good system of public education” – forced states to adopt rigorous and comparable education standards. “Common Core, owned by the Gates Foundation and apparently exempt from the Freedom of…

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Have Concerns about What Your Kids Are Learning? Local Teachers and Administrators Can Help

  An Oregon father took to social media to criticize federal overreach in schools after his son brought home an assignment that asked to score himself based on what kind of “white privilege” he has, the Independent Journal Review reports. “This survey is in itself racist…Government schools have become nothing more than brain wash centers…

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High, Comparable Standards Are the Right Choice for Illinois

  To hear Katy Dolan Baumer tell it, Illinois “needs to follow the lead of other states” by replacing its education standards, which are built on Common Core State Standards. Baumer, a candidate for a seat in the state House of Representatives, contends that Illinois’ standards “eliminate project-based teaching,” which she attributes to federal overreach,…

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States Spend Money on Education Regardless of Whether or Not They Adopted Common Core

  Common Core State Standards “have not only failed to produce the results that proponents promised, they are also incredibly expensive,” claims Teresa Mull, a research fellow at the Heartland Institute, in the opinion pages of the Washington Times. Citing a study by the Education Policy Analysis Archives, which alleges “the entire claim [about higher…

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Correcting the Record: Are States Really Giving Up on High, Comparable Education Standards?

  Arizona, like other states, is moving away from “federally mandated Common Core,” an article in the Havasu News-Herald writes. The state, the piece claims, is developing “something that is more rigorous and developmentally appropriate at every grade level” as it develops plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. That reporting is misinformed on…

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Every Student Succeeds Act: An Opportunity for States to Continue to Raise the Bar for Students

  A routine review of Louisiana’s public school policies has sparked concerns that it will trigger a political battle over implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Will Sentell reports for the New Orleans Advocate. The Every Student Succeeds Act returns more control over education issues, including standards, assessments and funding, to state and local…

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Opt-Out Efforts Put Students, Teachers and Families at a Disadvantage

  Even though opt-out proponents failed to change the 95 percent participation rate requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act, leaders of the movement say they intend to move forward “unabated,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “You can’t really punish the school and withhold funding because the parents chose an action that they thought was…

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New York Should Reaffirm Its Commitment to Rigorous, Comparable Education Standards

Revisions to New York’s standards amount to “what is ‘essentially just a rebranding of the Common Core,’” argues Hofstra University instructor Alan Singer on the Huffington Post. Singer cites a laundry list of supposed problems with the standards: they stress what is easy to test, not what is important to know; tests drive curriculum; curriculum…

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States’ Focus on Building Math Understanding Is Helping Students. It’s Important They Continue to Make Parents Part of the Process

As states have raised classroom expectations and begun to focus math instruction on developing fluency and understanding, it has become “difficult and/or impossible for some parents to grasp” math concepts, writes Fay Kimmins, a Kentucky resident in a letter to the Paducah Day. “Assisting with homework becomes comparable to a parent finishing a surgery initiated…

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Concerned about What Your Kids Are Learning? Turn to Your Local Schools and Teachers

  America’s public schools have become a hotbed for leftist indoctrination and education advocates are turning to Donald Trump to fix it, Susan Berry claims in Breitbart News: “Education is a primary reason the United States has lurched so far leftward in its acceptance of illegal immigrants and denigration of capitalism,” Berry writes. “Current-day students…

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Scrapping High-Quality Assessments Will Create More Problems for Ohio

  Ohio’s latest report cards for public schools, which show fewer schools performing at top levels, “should ring an alarm bell that our current school-accountability system is deeply flawed and needs to be scrapped,” argues Becky Higgins, president of the Ohio Education Association, in a letter to the Columbus Dispatch. Higgins suggests the state “should…

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New York, Keep the Bar High for Students

After the New York Department of Education released proposed changes to the state’s education standards, which largely recommend clarifications and rewording but keep expectations high for students, some opponents are demanding the state go back to its previous learning goals, Breitbart News reports. “Revive the ‘lost standards’ and bring them back to the table or revert to…

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Donald Trump Speaks Collection of Disparate Words Vaguely Centered on Common Core, Twitter Responds

In a statement yesterday, businessman Donald Trump spoke about Common Core. Complete with incomplete sentences, the overall impact of his words show a lack of understanding of what Common Core is, and what powers a President has over states setting academic standards. His statement, in full, via Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, is: “Well, we’re…

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‘Totalitarian’ Education on the Rise? Actually, States and Districts Are Taking Full Ownership of School Performance

  Last December, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law, permanently replacing No Child Left Behind and marking a historic return of control over education issues to states and districts. Calling it a “huge win for conservatives,” Congressman John Kline, chairman of the House education committee, explained that the law enables, and, in…

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High-Quality Assessments = Better Information about Student Academic Progress

Reporting on a recent audit of Oregon’s Smarter Balanced assessments, a KOIN 6 Portland article claims that the findings suggest the exams are “in need of some repairs.” Many parents don’t understand the purpose of the assessments, the article says, and “the many hours taken out of learning time for the tests is a sore…

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Trump’s Transition Team Got It Wrong. States Have Taken Control of Education Standards and Assessments

  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump picked Williamson Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gerard Robinson, a resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute, to lead his presidential transition team for education, Education Week reports. Last year, Evers wrote that states’ implementation of high standards suppressed “competitive federalism.” “Common Core’s rules and its…

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By Going It Alone, Ohio Has Unleashed Headache and Confusion for Teachers and Students

  District report cards released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Education, which grade schools on an A-F scale, show far fewer districts earned top scores compared to past years. Only two “A” grades were awarded on the performance index, down from 37 in 2013-14. About half the districts received “C” grades, and a third…

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Eyeing New Tests, Colorado Risks Following in the Costly Footsteps of Other States That Have ‘Gone It Alone’

  Members of the Colorado Board of Education signaled Wednesday that they may explore scrapping the state’s PARCC assessment and starting from scratch, Chalkbeat Colorado reports. In an informal 5-2 vote, the Board agreed to take up the issue formally later this year. “If we don’t do anything now, we won’t do anything,” said Board…

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The Name “Common Core” Is a Hot-Button Topic, but in Reality the Standards Debate Is Settled

Although “Common Core might not be quite the hot-button topic it was in 2014 or 2015,” it is still a contentious issue, writes Education Week reporter Andrew Ujifusa. The piece points to comments from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pledged to “end Common Core,” and from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who…

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Why Do Some Politicians Still Claim Federal Overreach When It Comes To Common Core?

  New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Ted Gatsas criticized incumbent Governor Chris Sununu this week, alleging “Sununu supported Obama’s Common Core agenda, taking away local control of our schools.” In an ad set to air this week, Gatsas adds, “As governor, I will get [Common Core] out of our classrooms for good, strengthen local control and…

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High Standards Are the First Step, but They Must Be Supported by Strong Curricula and Teaching

  Writing on a new book by education pioneer and author E.D. Hirsch Jr., Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews suggests states’ commitment to high standards has not been met with adequate curricular materials. “We have been callously blaming teachers for meager results of reform when the real culprit is what they have been asked to…

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States Are Setting the Academic Bar High. That’s Good for Students

In an interview with the Brian Lehrer Show, education historian and Common Core opponent Diane Ravitch argues states’ commitment to high standards “won’t make a bit of difference” if socioeconomic issues persist. “When we continue the testing regime and think standards are going to close the achievement gap, we are talking some sort of fantasy,”…

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Does Common Core Add Up for California’s Math Students? Absolutely.

While most states raised expectations for students by adopting the Common Core, the “opposite is true” in California, claims Wayne Bishop, a math professor at California State University-Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The problem, the piece alleges, is the “Common Core math standards, and the misguided philosophy of mathematics education behind them.”…

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Rigorous, Consistent Education Standards Are Necessary to Ensure All Students Have Access to a Good Education

In a piece published by Truth-Out.org, Jesse Hagopian, associate editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, claims corporate education reforms like the Common Core “have badly damaged education for all kids and have had particularly harmful effects on Black and Brown communities.” Such initiatives, Hagopian argues, “are in reality efforts to turn the schoolhouse into an ATM…

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Some Opponents Continue to Target the Common Core, But States Are Moving Ahead with High Standards

Dr. Jeffrey Leef, a Republican candidate for Illinois’ 7th Congressional District seat, claims Common Core State Standards are “another example” of federal intrusion into local classrooms and “proof that governmental inefficiencies are a bipartisan effort,” West Cook News reports. Leef contends that Illinois “should, but won’t, abandon this failed program,” and argues that “Too many…

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Attacks on Common Core May Be Popular, But It’s a Moot Point: States Are Moving On

Criticism of the Common Core State Standards has become popular in political races across New York, the Schenectady Daily Gazette reports. In interviews last week, all of the candidates vying for two State Senate seats criticized New York’s Common Core-based standards or associated assessments, even though each stopped short of proposing any legislative fixes. Such…

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Of Course Common Core Encourages the Use of Classic Literature

  Common Core State Standards emphasize non-fiction reading. The standards stipulate about 70 percent of student reading should be comprised of informational texts. But that provision is spread across all subjects. So, for example, that 70 percent may be fulfilled by assigned reading in social studies, sciences and other classes—not only English language arts courses….

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What Teachers Really Think about the Common Core, and How They Are Using the Standards

  “I don’t hate the new Common Core State Standards,” Andrew Simmons, a high school teacher in California, wrote recently on Vox. But, “the standards can be damaging when implemented irrationally. Standards are too often treated as a replacement for what teachers once considered good teaching… At some schools, at some point, talented, experienced teachers…

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The United States Is Not Finland, and Other Problems with Claims High Standards Aren’t Working

  It’s a pretty obvious statement: The United States is not Finland. But the realities therein – that there are fundamental differences between the U.S. education system and that of Finland and between both countries’ student populations – negate critics’ claims that American schools should give up on their commitment to high standards and high-quality…

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High Standards Going the ‘Way of the Metric System’? Not Likely

  “Americans have a problem with standards,” columnist Tim Bryce posits on News Talk Florida. A “rugged individualism,” Bryce contends, is why parents are now in “revolt” against the Common Core. “I’m afraid Common Core will go the way of the metric system in this country.” Bryce’s bold, and unfortunately misinformed prediction ignores the fact…

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No, High Standards Aren’t a Tool to Indoctrinate Children with Political or Religious Ideology

  Public schools’ commitment to rigorous education standards is simply a means to indoctrinate students with secular and progressive values, argues Sam Sorbo, a mother and homeschool advocate. Sorbo encourages families to explore homeschooling to avoid “bullying” by federal agencies and teachers unions. She adds that members of Congress have refused to address “the fundamental…

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Catholic School Officials See Value in High, Consistent Learning Goals

  The Catholic Citizens of Illinois report that Michigan’s Diocese of Marquette recently announced its schools will pursue a liberal-arts curriculum instead of one aligned to the Common Core (which the article mischaracterizes as a “set of federal education standards”). Although church officials acknowledge the “base” content emphasized by Common Core could offer a reference…

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Holding Kentucky Students to Rigorous Learning Goals Is the Right Formula to Close Achievement Gaps

  Kentucky’s latest ACT results are evidence the state’s Common Core-aligned standards have exacerbated achievement gaps, argues Richard Innes of the Bluegrass Institute. “Kentucky’s largest minority student group experienced a slight achievement gap decay during the past three years,” Innes writes on the Bluegrass Institute’s blog. “If Common Core is supposed to improve performance for…

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What Breitbart Got Wrong on Education Next’s Poll Results about Common Core

  Reporting on the latest annual Education Next public opinion survey, Breitbart News’ Susan Berry suggests support for Common Core State Standards fell because parents know the learning goals “are not the ‘rigorous’ program pitched by its proponents.” “Ever increasingly, parents are realizing that the Common Core Standards lock their children into an inferior education…

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No, Common Core Is Not a Plot to Impose a ‘Planned Economy’

  The “unpopular nationalized” Common Core State Standards are a device “Hillary and Bill Clinton have been working on for years” to establish a school-to-career pipeline, Breitbart News alleges. “The Common Core Standards and the student data collected through the Common Core-aligned tests are serving as a vehicle to provide big business with a government…

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High-Quality Assessments Are Not the Enemy

  According to a teacher survey in New Jersey’s Middlesex County, 60% of respondents say PARCC assessments have created stress and anxiety, Tap into Nutley reports. The findings indicate PARCC has negatively impacted students, the article suggests, and “drains significant instructional time.” “No ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach ever works,” claimed State Senator Patrick Diegnan at the release…

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Common Core Isn’t about ‘Guesstimating’ or ‘Abstract Concepts’

“Everyone hates Common Core.” That’s Jennifer Kabbany’s claim in an article for the College Fix. “It’s not math. It’s guesstimating and abstract concepts. Remember, under Common Core, the answer to a math problem doesn’t have to be exactly right – as long as the student shows he or she understands generally how to solve the…

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High-Quality Assessments Aren’t a Punishment – They Are a Tool for Teachers, Parents and Students

  Writing in Commonwealth Magazine, Sandra Stotsky argues that the amount of energy and resources put towards curbing students from opting out of state assessments “makes one wonder what these tests are really for.” Policymakers have not “made it clear why anyone but a low-achieving kid should be taking any test for accountability,” Stotsky adds….

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Has Common Core ‘Messed Up’ Math and Taken the Excitement out of Reading? Not at All. 

  Common Core State Standards were pushed onto states by the federal government and business groups, “condemning many of our children to a hobbled life,” claims Joan Johnson, a Michigan resident, in a letter to the Livingston Daily. In math, the Common Core has “messed up” instruction from kindergarten onward, Johnson argues. It’s even “totally…

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State Assessment Results Paint a Compelling Case Common Core State Standards Are Helping to Improve Student Achievement

Although proficiency rates among New York students in grades 3-8 increased in both math and English language arts, Robin Jacobowitz and KT Tobin argue that the results are inconclusive because changes were made to the state’s tests and testing policy, in a piece posted on the Washington Post. “In an effort to be responsive to…

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Fact-Checking Georgia Teacher’s Claims About Common Core’s ELA Standards

In a strongly-worded blog post reprinted by both Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s Get Schooled blog and Washington Post‘s Answer Sheet blog, Georgia high school teacher D’Lee Pollock-Moore details, what she calls, the “seven deadly sins of Common Core English standards,” claiming that the standards are “too ambiguous” and “devalue key components” of the English-language arts curriculum. Pollock-Moore claims that under the Common…

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Abandoning Common Core for Political Expediency Hurts Students, Teachers

South Florida school board candidate Lori Fahyee “is running … with the goal of bringing an end to Common Core requirements and high-stakes testing.” She wants to push the district to “evaluate the cost of Common Core requirements and standardized testing on the district and use this information to lobby the state” to ditch both…

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New Alabama Superintendent Will Face Challenges, But Not Common Core

While Alabama just selected education consultant Michael Sentance as the new Superintendent of Schools this morning, an article earlier today detailed the educational challenges that he may face. Candidates for the position noted that aligning “our assessment and accountability system” and a “lack of unity … to the entire educational community” are among pressing issues….

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The Common Core Train Has Left the Station, On Track for Student Success

Claiming that the Common Core and aligned assessment “train is pulling some very inadequate policies and practices into our schools,” two college professors write in the Connecticut Post that the state must dump the standards “for the sake of our children.” The piece contains the usual litany of falsehoods that the standards were “hastily written,…

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Florida Parents are Learning the Consequences of Opting Out

A group of parents are suing the state of Florida and 14 school districts over a law that calls for students to repeat third grade if they don’t score well on standardized assessments. For years, students who didn’t take the exams have been able to use “good cause exemptions” to move up to fourth grade….

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The Fact Is, the Common Core Standards Do Better Prepare Students for Success

Former public school teacher, Diane Sekula’s opposition to the Common Core has been well established but she continues to get her facts wrong. When given a platform as influential as the Union Leader, it makes it appear she’s telling the truth. The fact is, more than 40 states voluntarily adopted the standards, which continue to…

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The Fallacy of Going Alone

As, this recent KCUR article explains “When lawmakers said that Missouri had to abandon the Common Core State Standards and come up with the new learning blueprint that won approval from the state board last year, new tests had to be drawn up. That process was accelerated when lawmakers also said that the vendor for…

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Half The Story Isn’t Good Enough

  Critics claim the standardized tests “waste instructional time and encourage educators to emphasize rote memorization — teaching to the test — in lieu of meaningful learning.” Meanwhile, celebrities are getting into the act, taking sides either “tweeting about … children’s stress” or participating in supportive ad campaigns, notes an article in USA TODAY. While…

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Clickbait Headlines to Connect SAT Breach With Common Core Jump the Shark

A months-long, multi-part investigation from Reuters now shows that the College Board did not take steps necessary to protect “material being developed for the new SAT.” Shortly after the new SAT was revealed in March, “a person with access to material for upcoming versions of the redesigned exam provided Reuters with hundreds of confidential test…

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ESSA Charts Path to Local Control, Not A Course to Inferior Academic Standards

While the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was designed to give control over education policy back to states and local officials, Chalkbeat’s implication that it could lead to states jettisoning Common Core standards in favor of something stronger is off-base. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind, which subjected states to strict oversight and regulations that…

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New York State Test Scores Rose Because Common Core Is Working

New York City’s statewide assessment scores are up nearly 7 percent in English and 1 percentage point in math, but contrary to claims in a New York Daily News article, it’s not because the tests got easier or the bar was lowered. While it may be en vogue these days to claim systems are “rigged,”…

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Concerns with Your Schools Textbooks? Talk to Your School Board

In a letter to the Helena Independent Record, Barbara Rush, a Montana resident, argues the state’s education standards are not written by state or local authorities. Instead, the letter claims, they are developed by federal agencies, non-government organizations and influenced by the United Nations. “I read the history and geography textbooks that are aligned to…

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Opponents Would Like You to Believe the Common Core Was Written behind Closed Doors. The Facts Paint a Very Different Picture

The Common Core State Standards were developed by educators and experts from 49 states and territories under the leadership of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Once completed, the standards were made available for public review and input and put through multiple drafts. They were then certified by an…

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All Students Deserve High Academic Expectations

As states implement assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards, officials have struggled to balance rigor with fairness, a Hechinger Report article notes. “Some of the benchmarks are just way above the children’s heads; I honestly don’t think their brains are ready for some of the standards,” suggests Claudia Pinheiro, a fourth-grade teacher in New…

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Local Control Shouldn’t Be Misconstrued as a Reason to Opt-Out of High-Quality Assessments

Taking issue with proposed federal regulations requiring states to meet participation benchmarks on student assessments, the Westchester Journal News editorial board suggests the rules are misguided because they may discourage opting out of state assessments. “Schools with high opt-out numbers would have to waste time and resources preparing ‘improvement plans.’ It’s absurd for the feds…

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North Dakota Sticks with the Rigor and Clarity of the Common Core

A North Dakota committee tasked with reviewing and amending the state’s education standards is expected to release its first draft of proposed changes today. State leaders have made clear the changes will likely build on the Common Core framework. But several headlines suggest the state is starting from scratch. The Bismarck Tribune indicates the changes…

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Many States Are Bringing Back Cursive Writing. Common Core is Cool with That

  The Washington Post reports cursive handwriting is making a comeback from the brink of extinction—a brink, the article suggests, brought about by adoption of the Common Core State Standards. “Common Core Standards adopted by most states in recent years no longer required teaching cursive in public schools, and the widespread reaction was succinct: good…

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Replacing Consortia Exams, Some States Face Uncertainty and High Costs

  Consortia exams aligned to Common Core State Standards are “losing ground at the high school level,” Education Week reports. Over the last year, three states stopped using PARCC assessments for high school students. Among those states is Illinois, which recently announced it will replace PARCC with the SAT for high school students. The “high…

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Leaked DNC Emails Underscore the Politicization of the Common Core

  Emails released by WikiLeaks ahead of the Democratic National Convention indicate members of the party’s communications team identified the Common Core as a “third rail” that should be avoided, Education Week’s Andrew Ujifusa reports. “Common Core is a political third rail that we should not be touching at all,” wrote Eric Walker, deputy communications…

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Overwhelmingly, Educators Are Developing Materials Aligned to the Common Core. That’s a Far Cry from a Federal Curriculum

  Writing on Town Hall, American Principles Project Senior Fellow Jane Robbins claims the U.S. Department of Education is using the #GoOpen Initiative to “push onto states Common Core-aligned online instructional materials.” The Department of Defense’s open-source Learning Registry, Robbins argues further, “threatens government control over curriculum.” However, contrary to Robbins’ vision of a federal…

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Nine Times Diane Ravitch Was Wrong About Common Core in the New York Times

It was no surprise when, this weekend, education historian and vehement Common Core-opponent Diane Ravitch railed against the standards and assessments – again – this time in a New York Times op-ed. While she admits to numerous times she’s been completely wrong in the past, we’d like to take this opportunity to point out nine…

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Rigorous, Consistent Education Standards Are Still Good Conservative Policy

  Although the Common Core State Standards were initially met with broad bipartisan support, “much has changed since then,” suggests Matt Barnum, columnist for the site the74Million.org. “Republican supporters of the Common Core have all but evaporated in response to political pressure.” That shift, Barnum acknowledges, was largely driven by “conspiracy theories and misconceptions,” but,…

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Common Core Hasn’t ‘Dumbed Down’ Education, Nor Taken Joy Out of Learning

  Writing in the Southwest Florida News-Press, Louisa Penta – a local school board candidate – claims Common Core State Standards were imposed on states by the federal government and have “dumbed down” education. “Spontaneity, open dialog and discussion have been practically removed from the classroom… Teaching to the test is the norm. Rigor and…

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On Education, GOP Platform Ignores States Continuing to Voluntarily Implement Common Core State Standards

The Republican Platform, which was approved by delegates Monday night, denounces Common Core State Standards. Rejecting a “one-size-fits-all approach to education,” we “repeat our longstanding opposition to the imposition of national standards and assessments, encourage the parents and educators who are implementing alternatives to Common Core, and congratulate the states which have successfully repealed it,”…

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Why Stick with the Common Core? There Are a Lot of Reasons, Actually

  Common Core State Standards “are beyond what many young learners are able to achieve” and “crowd out the essential components of what young learners need for healthy development,” Lisa Eggert Litvin, president emeritus of the Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA, argues in the Westchester Journal News. “Children lose confidence and feel insecure, all because they aren’t reaching…

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Missing the Message of Common Core Study: The Need for Greater Professional Development

  Writing about a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Alice Lloyd argues in the Weekly Standard that, “Common Core math is no different” than previous reform efforts over the past 30 years. “Teaching multiple solutions, and letting children choose the one that comes most easily in practice, makes sense,” Lloyd says, “but the…

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Common Core Expert Responds to New Yorkers’ Concerns About Standards, Testing, and More

In June the Collaborative for Student Success shared a Newsday editorial on Common Core in New York on our Facebook page. The editorial said that implementation woes aside, Common Core is a set of higher standards and it’s time for New York’s schools to move forward. A number of people commented on the Facebook post,…

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Correcting the Record: Illinois Hasn’t Scrapped PARCC Assessments

  A Breitbart News headline proclaims that Illinois has dumped Common Core assessments. The article goes on to claim PARCC took too much time away from classroom instruction, which compelled officials to replace the exam with the SAT for high school juniors. “We should eliminate duplication,” says Roger Eddy, executive director for the Illinois Association…

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Assessments Aligned to Common Core Became Politically Charged for the Wrong Reasons

An EdSurge article on a recent Education Next report argues: “As support for the Common Core among politicians and educators wanes, the closely aligned PARCC and Smarter Balanced tests have also fallen from favor, and as more states leave, the benefit of interstate comparability decreases.” Even though polling shows strong support for rigorous, consistent learning…

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Don’t Blame the Common Core for Potential Opt-Out Consequences

  A Newsday article indicates states using the Common Core may be subject to federal regulations because of high opt-out rates, which has created backlash from teachers unions and others who say the results may be unfairly used in teacher and school evaluations. “It is bizarre when you think about it, that a school would…

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Common Core Doesn’t Discourage Students from Exploring Math Techniques. Actually, the Opposite is True.

Writing on the Huffington Post, Alan Singer, a social studies instructor at Hofstra University, claims when it comes to the Common Core, “You are not supposed to think. You are not supposed to imagine, estimate, or consider options. You are to follow instructions and solve problems in the right order.” Of assessments, Singer adds, “Common…

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Hardly an Act of Valor, Opting Out Puts Students at a Disadvantage

On the Huffington Post, Diane Ravitch urges parents to opt their children out of student assessments, which she claims “don’t serve any purpose other than to rank their children.” “No child receives a diagnosis of what they know and don’t know,” and “the passing mark is not objective; it is arbitrary.” Ravitch says. “Parents have…

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States Need to Provide the Right Tools for Teachers

Findings from the latest ACT National Curriculum Survey show that the Common Core State Standards fail to prepare students for college, Restore Oklahoma Public Education Co-founder Jenni White claims on the Heartland Institute’s website. White quotes Ze’ev Wurman, an outspoken critic of the Common Core, who says: “The whole certification process of Common Core [was]…

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Common Core Opponents Want Michigan Schools to Start from Scratch. That’s a Costly Proposition

  Opponents in Michigan argue that proposed legislation that would allow policymakers to continue to build on the Common Core framework “retains federal control.” The Tenth Amendment Center contends, “Michigan is heading down a dangerous road that has imperiled other states…By pushing through phony reforms in a cloak-and-dagger fashion, the federal-backed standards are protected while…

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States Are Leading Implementation of Common Core State Standards Free from Federal Pressure

  In a letter to the Naples Daily News, local resident David Bolduc claims “states sold their educational souls to the Obama administration for 30 pieces of silver in 2010 to adopt Common Core.” The letter goes on to argue Collier School District Superintendent Kamela Patton’s support for the standards opened the door to “never-ending…

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No, Common Core Hasn’t Killed Cultural Literacy

Students are graduating high school under-prepared in cultural literacy, an Education Dive article suggest, which critics attribute to the Common Core. Opponents suggest the standards’ call for greater non-fiction texts has been construed to include “text-free” or “text-light” sources, like podcasts and tweets. “When we flush literature down the toilet, we also flush opportunities to…

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EdReport Study Reaffirms Teachers Still Lack Proper Supports to Teach to the Common Core

An analysis by EdReports, which provides “consumer reports” on classroom materials, finds only one of five textbook series considered fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Three of the material sets (College Board, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Pearson) fell short of expectations to be considered in alignment. Another (Carnegie Learning) partially met expectations for…

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Common Core Math Standards Help Students Build Fluency, Which Is Hardly a ‘Waste of Time’

In a letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, Gordon Johnston, a Utah grandfather, argues the Common Core “is the most ridiculous thing ever invented—by some person insulated from the real world…It is a system of time-wasting.” Math questions that require students to explain their reasoning, the letter suggests, are “not even sensible… I can think…

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States Are In the Driver’s Seat When it Comes to Standards

Common Core State Standards and “true choice in education are incompatible,” claims Robert Holland, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute. The standards were imposed on states “from the top down,” Holland argues, and are part of a “larger, controlling agenda” from Washington. Contrary to Holland’s argument, the Common Core State Standards were developed free…

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Massachusetts Ballot Initiative Could Put Students and Teachers at Risk

End Common Core Massachusetts announced last week that its members had collected enough signatures to include a question on the November ballot to repeal Massachusetts’ Common Core Standards, the Daily Caller reports. The proposal would require the state to return to the education standards used prior to 2010. Massachusetts education consistently ranks No. 1 nationally,…

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Like Many States, Louisiana Is Continuing to Build on the Common Core Framework

Louisiana officials duped residents by rebranding the “despised” Common Core State Standards as the state’s own learning goals, an Everything-PR articles alleges. “Common Core is an education standard [sic] from the federal government… In spite of the claims that 20 percent of the original standards had been modified, less than three percent was changed.” The…

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Teachers Want More PD to Help Students Reach Full Potential under Common Core

The Fordham Institute’s recent survey looks at how K-8 math educators are implementing the Common Core math standards in their classrooms. Overall, teachers think that these standards are helping them and their students grow. Fifty-three percent of teachers surveyed think the Common Core math standards will have long term benefits for their students; a majority…

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Filmmaker Suggests the Common Core Fuels Violence in Schools. That’s Not Just Wrong, It’s Offensive  

In a piece published by the website Counter Punch, documentary filmmaker Andrew Stewart suggests “neoliberal education policies” like the Common Core contribute to school violence. Such allegations are as offensive as they are misinformed. They have no place in constructive policy discussions. Stewart makes a number of other woefully unsubstantiated claims, including that the Common…

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Ravitch Wrong About Goals and Effectiveness of Opting Out

Diane Ravitch claims New York’s opt-out movement has been effective and now has larger goals. “Opt out leaders want a sweeping change in education policy, from scripted lessons and high-stakes testing to child-centered classrooms, where children are really put first, not test scores,” Ravitch argues. Ravitch cites an article in the Long Island Press, which…

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Schlafly’s Misconceptions About Common Core and Sex Education

In a confusing piece published by Town Hall, Phyllis Schlafly argues the Common Core’s promise of higher standards does not mean more rigorous intellectual content, but a “higher percentage of students passing them.” Schlafly claims, “The easiest way to get more students to pass a test is to make the standards (or the passing score)…

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ACT Survey Findings Being Twisted by Common Core Opponents

  Columnist Allyne Caan argues in the Patriot Post that the results from the latest ACT National Curriculum Survey are an indicator Common Core State Standards “are disconnected from the reality of college and career expectations.” Caan continues, “It’s little wonder states are rejecting the standards…The federal government doesn’t know what’s best for your child…

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Why Bentley and His New Superintendent Shouldn’t Repeal Common Core

Conservative columnist Quin Hillyer argues for scrapping the Common Core in Alabama, arguing that Governor Bentley should “listen to grassroots Alabamans and fulfill his 2014 campaign promise – which echoed his own pledges made several years earlier – to repeal Common Core.” Hillyer continues, “At least as importantly, it is imperative that he chooses a…

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Let’s Set the Record Straight on Student Performance in Kentucky

Asserting that Kentucky’s African American students haven’t fared as well under Common Core as their white peers, American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins argues that, “Kentucky was the first state in the union to adopt Common Core and to get it rolling, and to get it implemented. And evidence so far seems to be that black…

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Assessments Matter: Why you shouldn’t opt-out

In the second part of a two part series, Los Angeles teacher Robert Jeffers and teacher and columnist John McCrann respond to a parent, who doubts that vendors can offer assessments aligned to the high-quality education his fourth grade son receives at his private school student in Brooklyn, NY – and questions the pressure and…

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Are States Better Off Repealing the Common Core? Evidence Indicates Definitely Not

A poll this week by the Salt Lake Tribune finds 51 percent of respondents believe Utah’s Common Core State Standards should be replaced. Forty-six percent say schools should stop using SAGE, the statewide assessment aligned to the standards. “It’s almost like they want to make it all teacher proof,” one participant claimed. “Like we’re moving…

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Six Years Later Critics Still Haven’t Figured Out That Common Core Is Not a National Curriculum

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss, Common Core opponent Diane Ravitch argues the standards have widened achievement gaps. “There is confusion about national standards and a national curriculum. The Common Core, for example, is both,” Ravitch claims. “It is far too specific and attempts to standardize every school in the nation…I no…

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Are tests an “ineffective measure of student growth and accountability”? We don’t think so.

Calling Smarter Balanced assessments an “ineffective measure of student growth and accountability,” the Springfield School Board in Oregon unanimously approved a statement on Monday recommending that parents “strongly consider exercising their right” to opt out of the state exam, the Springfield Register-Guard reports. “[Smarter Balanced] was designed to compare districts and teachers, not to help…

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Evidence vs. Perception: Common Core Is Built on the Skills Students Need to Be Ready for Success After High School

  “The Common Core education initiative may need to have its focus readjusted when it comes to college preparedness,” an International Business Times article asserts in response to the ACT’s latest National Curriculum Survey. A press release accompanying the survey carefully alleges “certain discrepancies between portions of the Common Core State Standards and skills some…

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Common Core and College Readiness: There is no disconnect

A survey by the ACT released Thursday claims to identify mismatches between certain skills in the Common Core State Standards and those college instructors consider important for success in higher education. The survey, which polls K-12 and college teachers and is conducted every few years, notes college instructors would like to see a greater emphasis…

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Addressing Concerns About Curricular Materials and Assessments aligned to Common Core in Louisiana

In a letter to the New Orleans Advocate, Wade Smith, a Louisiana educator, expresses a concern over the lack of curricular materials aligned to the state’s Common Core State Standards and questions the validity of using the Common Core-aligned assessment as other states have withdrawn from the testing consortium, making comparison to other states difficult….

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New Jersey Hasn’t Abandoned the Common Core, and Students Aren’t Losing Their Minds

New Jersey has abandoned the Common Core, an article by the Heartland Institute heralds (even though it later acknowledges changes to the state’s standards retain about 84 percent of the Common Core). In fact, New Jersey, like most states across the country that adopted Common Core, opted to review, refine and build on its academic…

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Correcting the Record: Common Core State Standards DO NOT Subject Students to Mass Data Collection

A Washington Post article describing increased collection of children’s personal data suggests education technology companies are using the Common Core to collect and sell student data. “This data is used for marketing purposes, to help target ad dollars toward the next generation of consumers,” the article claims. It cites a report by the National Center…

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Don’t Confuse the Common Core with New York’s Science Standards—or Frustrations with State Testing Policy

Responding to a high number of students opting out of New York’s science exams, Governor Cuomo criticized the state Department of Education’s implementation of Common Core State Standards, the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record reports. “[The state Department of Education] did a terrible job in implementing Common Core,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They lost the faith and…

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PARCC Provides Parents and Teachers with Accurate Information to Better Help Students

In a letter to the Santa Fe New Mexican, members of the MASTERS Program Charter High School argue PARCC assessments take the excitement and pride out of student learning. “Instead of seeing our students excited by inquiry and exploration during testing, we saw them suffering from apathy and fear,” the authors allege. “When it comes…

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Boston Globe Piece Misses the Mark on Assessments

Citing four books that criticize student testing, Katherine Whittemore claims “almost all” the literature on assessments is “inimical to the acronym-ical”—suggesting experts roundly believe annual assessments do more harm than good. “Such tests foster homogeneity and discourage intrinsic motivation and innovation,” Whittemore argues, drawing comparisons between the testing culture in China and that in the…

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It’s Not Time for New Jersey to Walk Away from PARCC

  New Jersey officials should rethink “unproven” PARCC assessments because “illegal underfunding” will prevent the proper administration and maintenance of the exams, argues Corey Teague, a former Paterson School Board member, on PolitickerNJ.com. “How can we be legally forced to pass a test without the fundamental tools necessary to even maintain it? That is just…

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Let’s Be Clear, Common Core Math Isn’t All Sticks, Dots, and Blocks…

  Changes to math instruction happening as states implement the Common Core State Standards put students who are naturally gifted at math at a disadvantage, claims Cindy Moor, a Maryland parent. “It’s crazy. It’s stupid,” Moor writes in the Delmarva Daily Times. “At what point do we stop teaching our kids to manipulate numbers with…

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All Students Deserve a Path towards College and Career Readiness

Common Core State Standards, the “federalizing of public education,” is failing public-school students, and particularly minority children, claims Deirdre Reilly on the parent news website MomZette. “Far from achieving its goal of leveling the playing field…[the Common Core] has put children of color in the state of Kentucky (and likely in many other states as…

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Conspiracies About Common Core Continue…

In the letter to the Vineland Daily Journal, Antonina Penna claims, “Common Core is nothing more than profit-driven. Pearson is raking billions of dollars off taxpayers…It’s not about education. It never was. Follow the money.” Penna’s argument conflates Common Core State Standards with assessments, which are chosen by state and local authorities. The Common Core…

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Opt-Out Efforts Undermine Parents’ and Teachers’ Access to Accurate Information about Student Readiness

Opt-out efforts in Long Island, New York culminated in a “giant win” for activists, and supporters are still demanding changes, even if it’s unclear what those goals are, the Long Island Press reports. “[Parents’] message has been effective: No more Common Core.” However, parents’ frustrations—which have compelled many to get behind the opt-out movement—should not…

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Is the Media Really Blacklisting Common Core Opponents?

Writing in the New Boston Post, Sandra Stotsky claims the media ignores criticisms made against the Common Core State Standards because of a perception those concerns come from “wing-nuts concerned about ‘federal overreach.’” As evidence of this “blacklisting,” she cites one blogger’s vendetta against the Education Writer’s Association, the professional organization of members of the…

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Standards are Not a Silver Bullet, But Worth Seeing Through

Student proficiency scores have seen improvement in recent years in Kentucky but data show African-American students perform worse than their white peers on average, a Hechinger Report article notes. “Kentucky finds itself at a crossroads…It’s clear that raising standards was not enough to help all learners.” Common Core State Standards are not a silver bullet…

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Field Tests Ensure Transparency and Integrity of High-Quality Student Assessments

Some New York parents are complaining that their children are participating in field tests for student assessments, the New York Post reports. “Parents are not aware that their children are being forced to sit for these guinea-pig tests,” argues Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union. Michael Reilly, president of the Staten…

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Correcting the Record: Common Core State Standards Aren’t Tests

A local ABC News story, “Parents Take the Common Core,” conflates Common Core State Standards with annual student assessments, a mischaracterization frequently made in the media. In fact, parents can’t “take the Common Core,” as the headline suggests, because the standards are learning goals—guidelines for the skills students should master at each grade level that…

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Why NAEP Scores Can’t Be Tied to Common Core Yet

In a letter to the Naples Daily News, Florida resident Melanie Doyle argues that declines in student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are evidence Common Core State Standards are having a negative impact: “These results are especially significant because, unlike students who took the NAEP tests two years earlier, the 2015…

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What ‘The Progressive’ Blogger Got Wrong on PARCC and Smarter Balanced

“PARCC’s attack on citizen journalists and public school advocates,” exposes the dangers of “the corporatization of public education,” claims blogger Jonathan Pelto. Pelto makes these claims after a university professor posted copyrighted material from the assessment – and was asked to remove the content from her blog by PARCC. The entry quotes a fellow blogger, saying,…

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Critical Thinking and Creativity Are Cornerstones of Common Core State Standards

In a letter to the Fresno Bee, California resident James Carson claims Common Core State Standards have turned “vibrant, creative classrooms into generic, Stepford-Wives, sit-down-and-shut-up systems that promote rote memorization…We have taken independent thinking and creativity out of education and replaced them with paint-by-numbers and the illusion of complexity. The dumbing down of America is…

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The ‘Common Core Testing Regime’ and Other Head-Scratching Common Core Rumors

The Washington Post this week highlighted a report by the National Center for Education Policy which claims schools have become “soft targets” for companies to gather data about and market to children because “the Common Core testing regime requires students to take computerized tests.” The report argues: “In addition to threatening their physical well-being, marketing…

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Utah Governor Shows How Letting Politics Dictate Standards is the Wrong Move

The Associated Press reports the Utah Board of Education voted 13-2 last week to approve a motion to review the state’s Common Core Standards. The politically-charged move comes at the request of Governor Gary Herbert, who once strongly defended the standards. The article omits that the Board recently completed a review of the state’s education…

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Utah’s Political Calculations Could Put Students and Teachers at a Disadvantage

Late last week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert again urged the state Board of Education to replace the Common Core, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. “It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong—we’re past that,” Gov. Herbert argued. “Let’s transition to something better.” However, the evidence from the few states that have taken the “repeal-and-replace” path…

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In New Jersey and Elsewhere, High-Quality Assessments Are Providing Parents and Teachers with Accurate Information

In a letter to the Somerville Courier News alleging PARCC assessments are “raking in billions of dollars off taxpayers,” Antonina Penna claims, “Common Core is nothing more than a profit-driven venture…It’s not about education. It never was. Follow the money.” Penna conflates education standards with student assessments, even though the two are very different issues….

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Why a Common Core Review is a Strong Move for North Dakota Schools and Students

In an editorial, the Bismarck Tribune states, “A lot of people were happy last week when the state announced it would replace Common Core. The program to track student progress has become a hot-button issue in North Dakota and across the nation.” Arguing that opposition to the Common Core “undercut its credibility,” the editorial board…

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What Hillary Clinton and Common Core Don’t Have in Common

In her most recent anti-Common Core tirade, The Federalist’s Joy Pullmann discusses Hillary Clinton’s position on Common Core, and claims that Common Core-aligned assessments are a big government power grab that was born out of an attempt to nationalize the education system. Pullmann erroneously asserts that states had no say in the matter and the…

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Alaska’s Legislature Doesn’t Seem to Know They Don’t Have Common Core…

The Alaska legislature has approved legislation that would allow parents to refuse student participation in assessments and “give parents a powerful tool to push back again Common Core.” Well – let’s start by pointing out that Alaska does not have the Common Core State Standards – nor have they ever. Legislators are merely using the cover of “big…

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Teachers Across the Country Support Common Core

In an op-ed this week, North Dakota teacher Justin LaBar called North Dakota State Superintendent “either delusional or a liar. Maybe both.” He claims that Common Core is a one-size-fits-all approach to math and English. LaBar’s piece reads more like a list of grievances than a reasoned rebuttal of Baesler’s announcement that the state is…

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Common Core and College Preparedness Go Hand in Hand

A recent article published by the Heartland Institute, claims that Common Core has led to a decrease in college readiness and that Common Core is “dumbing-down these colleges.” The article touts a college entrance exam that boasts being “non-Common Core.” This is a misleading claim that actually misses the point of Common Core. Common Core…

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Changes to 8th Grade Math Instruction Aren’t What You Might Have Heard

“Many are puzzled about why the Common Core State Standards…seem to advise against the popular policy of letting kids take algebra a year earlier than usual. It is all pretty confusing,” argues Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews. “Common Core should not stand in the way of eighth-graders who want to start high school math early.”…

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Michigan Lawmakers should be wary of politically-driven calls to replace Common Core

Writing about legislation to repeal Michigan’s Common Core Standards, Detroit News columnist Ingrid Jacques argues, “It’s not that crazy of an idea.” Michigan officials can producer stronger learning goals, Jacques contends, that don’t pose a “serious threat to state and local education authorities”—a mischaracterization leveled against the Common Core by opponents. Lawmakers should be leery…

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Utah Governor Risks Putting Schools on a Costly Path of Uncertainty, Lower Standards

Utah Governor Gary Herbert called on the state Board of Education to get rid of the state’s Common Core Standards and mandatory SAGE testing for high school students on Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. “I am asking the State Board of Education to consider implementing uniquely Utah standards,” Gov. Herbert wrote in a letter…

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Common Core Opponents Have Put North Dakota Schools on a Path of Disruption and Uncertainty

On Tuesday, State Superintendent Kristen Baesler announced North Dakota will create a new set of education standards to replace the Common Core, the Bismarck Tribune reports. The Grand Forks Herald notes the move comes amid criticism Common Core State Standards allow “an overreaching federal government to make decisions better left to the state.” The new…

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Wyoming Could Have Serious Problems Replacing Smarter Balanced Student Assessment

A KOTA TV headline, “Wyoming Drops Out of Common Core Group,” suggests that state officials are moving towards replacing the Common Core. They are not. This week, State Superintendent Jillian Barrow announced the state will terminate its affiliation with the Smarter Balanced testing consortium. But that doesn’t mean the state has walked away from the…

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Missouri’s New Education Standards Refine and Build on the Common Core Framework

Missouri’s development of new education standards to “replace” the Common Core was a “farce” and a “half-baked effort to placate an outraged citizenry,” the New American claims. “The dumbed-down, Obama-backed national ‘education’ standards were preserved largely intact, just under a new name…For the sake of American children and the future of the nation, it is…

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Misinformation Campaigns Could Send Michigan the Way of Oklahoma

The Michigan Senate Education Committee voted this week to approve legislation to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards. The bill, which would implement the learning goals used by Massachusetts in 2008, will now head to the full Senate for consideration. “It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let…

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States’ Implementation of Common Core Still New, but Evidence Indicates High Standards Are Improving Schools

A drop in the percentage of 12th grade students that are college and career ready on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is evidence Common Core State Standards are not working, Neal McCluskey argues on the CATO at Liberty blog. “Not only has there been no meaningful evidence of the Core’s effectiveness…These scores do…

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As Michigan Examines Their Common Core State Standards, Here are a Few Things to Remember

The Christian Post this week cited Michigan’s recent bill, which would “repeal” Common Core and would prevent schools from using any “national or multistate consortium standards” or assessment moving forward,  as an example of the “Common Core losing steam” – but this is far from the truth. There a few distinct places where the Christian…

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Opting Out Creates Long-Term Problems for Students, Teachers, and Parents

Student assessments don’t adequately measure student learning and cost classrooms valuable time, argues Bob Erland, a Massachusetts teacher, in the Cohasset Mariner. “We have to step up and make a stand against what is being inflicted against our students,” Erland argues. “These tests don’t measure success, and the cost is a generation of some of our most innovative thinkers.”…

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Opting Out Puts Students at Risk, and Does Nothing to Improve Student Assessments

Although opt-out efforts have been concentrated among white, suburban populations, the “debate is becoming murkier,” the New York Times reports. “While there is little evidence thus far of a major groundswell of nonwhite, urban students opting out of testing, the battle lines are clearly shifting.” “There are places where students just feel like it’s a…

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Correcting the Record: Has Indiana Really ‘Refused’ the Common Core?

In a letter to the Indianapolis Star, high school student Sierra Lehman says she is grateful “Indiana is refusing” Common Core State Standards. “The main issue with Common Core Standards is the emphasis on testing,” the letter states. “Tests themselves don’t adequately measure skills, but instead one’s test-taking ability… [Common Core] requires all students to…

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Actually, Missouri Built Upon the Common Core Framework—Exactly as Designed

An article in Education World erroneously reports that Missouri officials “scrapped the Common Core” this week after the state Department of Education approved a new set of learning goals. “The process to replace Common Core in the state began after widespread backlash against the Common Core and a general lack of local control over education.”…

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Technical Problems Shouldn’t Spoil the Value of Good Tests

Following a technical problem that disrupted student testing in New Jersey, the Asbury Park Press editorialized that officials “have no real answers” for problem and that the “fairness” of the tests is in doubt. “In true PARCC fashion everyone scrambled to blame someone else…It doesn’t help the cause when official continue to duck responsibility even…

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Michigan Lawmakers Should Be Leery of Going the Way of Oklahoma

Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck recently introduced legislation that would require the state to replace its Common Core Standards with those Massachusetts used in 2008, the Ann Arbor News reports. “The goals [Common Core State Standards] set out to achieve, which are improved student performance or academic achievement, it’s not achieving,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Beyond…

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What Common Core Actually Means for Massachusetts’ History Standards

In a recent New Boston Post piece, Jennifer Braceras claims that the Common Core State Standards only teach students skills such as “how to cite primary sources to support an argument” and in so doing is damaging American history education in schools by not requiring “students learn about the birth of their country.” Braceras’ observations…

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Made a Mistake Replacing the Common Core, Not by Adopting the Standards

In the Edmond Sun opinion pages, State Representative Jason Murphey argues that Common Core State Standards were foisted on Oklahoma schools “sans deliberative review” by the legislature. “Four years and millions of dollars later, the legislature admitted its mistake and tried to unwind the policy, but not until after it had put the entire education…

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Setting the Record Straight: Alaska and the Common Core

In a letter to the Fresno Bee, Sandy Torosian, a local parent, argues that California families should boycott assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards. “All over the country, parents are fed up with being ignored by a government education system. They are exercising a parent’s right, and even civil duty, to refuse testing.” Torosian…

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Changing course on Common Core State Standards would be a disservice to the Hispanic community

A report by Child Trends Hispanic Institute indicates progress among Hispanic students has slowed overall in terms of keeping up with other student segments. “Not much has changed since the Common Core Standards have been implemented,” an Education Week article claims. “The annual tests that determine if students have mastered the standards are actually being…

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A Silent Majority of New Yorkers Are ‘Opting In’ to High-Quality Assessments

Reporting on a recent opinion piece by New York teacher Katie Lapham, a New Boston Post article suggests educators across New York adamantly oppose assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards. “Like Lapham, others in New York and elsewhere have called on students (and parents) to refuse to take the tests…‘There is no conclusive evidence…

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States Like New York Are Using High-Quality Tests. For Teachers and Parents, That’s a Good Thing

In a piece published by Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss, New York teacher Katie Lapham alleges that the state’s student assessments are “developmentally inappropriate, confusing and tricky.” Despite tests being shortened, Lapham argues they are too long and contain content that is too high-level for third graders. “I’m beyond fed-up that I have to continue…

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Setting the Record Straight on Common Core and Algebra I

Recently parents and education columnists have raised concerns that Common Core State Standards’ call for “general” eighth-grade math classes instead of Algebra I will “restrain” the ambitions of students who want to reach the highest levels of high-school math. The change is “inscrutable,” Jay Mathews wrote in the Washington Post this week. Tom Loveless of…

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Opting Out Leaves Students, Parents and Teachers in the Dark

If parents want to “end the obsession with standardized testing,” they should opt their children out of student assessments, argues Diane Ravitch in the Huffington Post. “That’s democracy in action…The tests today are pointless and meaningless.” Ravitch goes further, saying proficiency benchmarks are “subjective” and set “so high that the majority of children are expected…

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TODAY Show Misses the Mark on Assessments

This morning, the TODAY show ran a segment on the New York’s movement to opt out of assessments. The piece featured two Long Island parents who assert that they have opted their kids out, claiming that assessments are harmful. According to the Today Show, the opt-out activists assert that assessments: a) take time away from…

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Changes to Eighth-Grade Math Don’t Mean Students Are Learning Less

Many schools are making changes to eighth-grade math, forcing families to “restrain their ambitions and delay algebra until high school,” which Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews calls “inscrutable.” “Parents who need a clear reason for restraining math acceleration in middle school are not getting it,” he adds, suggesting the progression of learning under Common Core…

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Opt-Out Proponents in New York Refuse to Take ‘Yes’ as an Answer

New York parents continue to opt-out their children from statewide assessments because they are unsatisfied with “reform by the very ‘reformers’ who mucked up the rapid-paced adoption of Common Core-aligned high-stakes testing,” the Westchester Journal editorial board claims. “[Parents] want to see real change, and until they do, some will have their kids sit out…

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Setting the Record Straight: Common Core isn’t a test, it’s a set of academic standards.

Time and time again, we’ve seen articles across the country conflate assessments with standards when talking about Common Core. Many outlets last year incorrectly reported parents in New York were “opting out of Common Core,” when in fact, is was the state assessment that they took issue with. Similarly, in this piece, a (hopefully) one-time glitch…

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Assessments Are Important – That’s Why Many Families Are ‘Opting In’

  Citing multiple media reports from last year, Story Hinckley erroneously reports for the Christian Science Monitor that opt-out efforts are gaining steam in New York this year. “Concerns go beyond testing conditions to the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of standardized tests. Parents argue that the tests assess their children on information they haven’t learned while…

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When It Comes to Education Standards, Is Massachusetts on Track To Be More Like Oklahoma?

Efforts to decentralize education are not enough to undo the pestilent Common Core State Standards, Sandra Stotsky claims in the New Boston Post. “The truth is that mediocre standards, a poor curriculum based on them, and academically under-qualified teachers are the biggest problems facing our schools–and they are likely to persist even with decentralization.” Stotsky…

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Common Core State Standards “Eking Out Its Last Gasps”? Not Even Close.

“Common Core is dead,” proclaims Joy Pullman of the Heartland Institute in the Federalist. “It’s already clear this education monstrosity is eking out its last gasps… Common Core’s failure should indict every single Common Core cheerleader and prompt a revival of genuine education reforms we’ve known for decades would actually help children.” It’s hard to…

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The Value of Assessments: Why opting out isn’t the answer

In a new video by the Network for Public Education, Common Core opponent Diane Ravitch claims student assessments provide “no useful information” about student development. “Opt out is the only way you have to tell policymakers that they’re heading in the wrong direction,” Ravitch alleges in the clip aimed at parents. “The testing is not…

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Third Grade Math Is Unfamiliar to Many Parents. Why That’s Not a Bad Thing:

A Buzzfeed video shows several parents struggling to make sense of third-grade math problems that ask students to use multiple problem-solving approaches. “Are you just trying to make me feel stupid, Common Core?” one parent asks. “The idea that [my daughter] is learning math in a total different way is intimidating to me as a…

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Fox News Host Contradicts Himself, Says Common Core Sets Students Up to Fail and Lowers the Bar. Both Are Wrong

Discussing whether students would be better off if schools eliminated algebra as a graduation requirement, as suggested by author Andrew Hacker, Fox News host Pete Hegseth attributed students’ frustrations in math to the “mumbo jumbo” of Common Core State Standards. “They are setting [students] up to fail. And then we’re lowering the standards and we’re…

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Opting Out Should Raise a Red Flag for Parents

Writing in the Westchester Journal News, Suzanne Coyle, a local parent, urges others to withhold their children from statewide assessments. “Test-based accountability has never been shown to increase academic achievement and there is no evidence that these test scores are predictive of anything,” Coyle claims. But “a focus on test scores narrows the curriculum and…

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Opponents Would Love to Have You Believe Common Core Is a Federal Curriculum, But It’s Not 

A Heritage Foundation report, or, really, a compilation of essays assailing the Common Core, makes the baseless allegation that Common Core State Standards are a progressive push to centralize education. “The trajectory of the Common Core is a direct path to a federal curriculum,” argues Neal McCluskey of the CATO Institute. “Americans do not need…

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The Importance of Algebra: How Common Core Helps Students Build a Strong Understanding of Math

Author and Queens College professor Andrew Hacker suggests college- and career-readiness benchmarks are too high and high schools should remove Algebra as a graduation requirement, Breitbart News reports. “At the very time we should be honing and sharpening quantitative reasoning skills we punch students into algebra, geometry, calculus,” Hacker says. “The Math People take over…

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States Are Free to Choose Their Own Education Standards, Build on Common Core Framework

Writing in the New Boston Post, anti-Common Core critic Sandra Stotsky insists the Every Student Succeeds Act “all but guarantees” states will continue “the lowering of academic standards” through the Common Core. “All that most parents can do henceforth is keep their children home on days when the schools give federal or state mandated tests…

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Correcting the Record: Common Core Still Going Strong in States  

Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, picking up on a study by Brooking Institution’s Tom Loveless, claims “the Common Core may already have passed its peak and begun the slow decline into oblivion.” Despite support among educators and parents, and consensus that it is too early to determine the Common Core’s impact, Mathews surmises, “It is…

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West Virginia Lawmakers Opted to Build on the Common Core, Not Repeal It

Writing for the Heartland Institute, Andy Torbett erroneously claims that West Virginia lawmakers approved legislation that will “repeal the state’s Common Core curriculum and prohibit the state’s Board of Education from implanting the national curriculum standards.” That’s not true. In fact, the West Virginia Legislature voted to have the State Board of Education review and…

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Critics Promulgate Misinformation about Misinformation on Common Core  

Writing for the CATO at Liberty blog, Neal McCluskey argues that proponents of the Common Core dismiss opponents “as ignorant, maybe even loony.” A recent Funny or Die video, McCluskey says, is “highly misleading” and put out “misleading and woefully incomplete information.” What McCluskey overlooks is that the video is not mocking parents who care…

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Common Core State Standards Are Raising Classroom Expectations. So Why Are Some Suggesting They Are Past Their Prime?

A study released today by Tom Loveless, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, analyzes whether the changes promoted by the Common Core State Standards are making their way into the classroom based on a survey of educators. Loveless finds in early years of Common Core State Standards implementation “strong” and “medium” implementers made…

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No, Common Core Does Not Cause ‘Sexualization’ of Students

Texas State Senator Bob Hall claims Common Core State Standards indoctrinate students into “a liberal mind-set that includes the sexualization of students,” the Dallas Morning News reports. In an email to constituents, Sen. Hall alleges the Common Core teaches “homosexuality is normal behavior,” acceptance of “liberal immigration policy” and “the breakdown of family.” Hall’s claims…

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Common Core Misinformation Continues – with Communism

In an interview with TruNews, Chaplain Ray Moore claims Common Core State Standards’ “true agenda” is to “promote communism.” “It’s collectivism, globalism,” Moore says, which is meant to dumb-down students so they will only be able to perform menial jobs.” “It’s a dark agenda.” The so-called “dark agenda” better describes opponents’ campaigns to mischaracterize Common…

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Common Core State Standards Are Helping Raise Classroom Expectations. Why Would States Want to Turn Back?

Andy Jones, a high-school teacher in Honolulu, suggests Common Core State Standards are only a “pretense of fostering critical-thinking skills” and will put more standardized testing requirements on schools. “It is incumbent on the [Department of Education]… to question its ongoing commitment to Common Core,” writes in the Honolulu Civil Beat. “Instead of trailing the…

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Oklahoma at a Crossroads: Inferior Standards or Back to the Drawing Board?

Even though “it’s hard to tell” whether Oklahoma’s proposed education standards are “good enough,” the Tulsa World editorial board argues that lawmakers should approve the learning goals. They claim that State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister “says it’s time to move forward, and we agree.” Criticism of the new standards, the piece goes further to say, comes…

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Common Core Standards Don’t Homogenize Schools

National Review columnist Josh Gelernter argues America’s founding fathers would reject Common Core State Standards because “centrally planned education is a stupid idea.” “Different men need to know different things… Different parents want their children taught differently.” Contrary to Gelernter’s claim, Common Core State Standards do not force educators into a rigid model of what…

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Common Core State Standards Were Developed Free From Federal Control – and Remain a Local Effort

Charles Schaub, a political commentator, claims Massachusetts voters should fight to repeal the Common Core because the standards are federally imposed and will “dumb down” the state’s education system. “To me, this seemed like the clearest case of the federal government’s overreaching its bounds and bullying communities into accepting its view of a good education,”…

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New California Report Questioning Common Core Misses the Mark

Researchers from Stanford University, UCLA and UC Berkeley claim the Common Core “deprofessionalizes teaching and narrows the curriculum” and “reduces the quality of education and student learning, engagement and success,” Valerie Strauss reports in the Washington Post. First, educators and administrators from across the country say otherwise. Support for Common Core State Standards remains strong,…

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Opting Out Works Against Students and Teachers

Student assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards are designed to “get very low-achieving students into college and to lower above-average student achievement in order to close demographic gaps,” Sandra Stotsky argues in the opinion pages of the New Boston Post. Stotsky doesn’t think educators need tests either, which is why she encourages parents to…

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Common Core’s English and Math Standards Prepare Students to be Good Citizens

Common Core State Standards fail to prepare students to fulfill their civic responsibilities because they are “silent on the skills and knowledge” students need to do so, argues Arnold Packer, a former assistant secretary for labor, in an opinion piece published by Education Week. “Because citizenship is not explicit in the standards for math and…

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The One Thing Trump and Cruz Keep Getting Wrong – That’s Not Being Fact Checked

“Common Core is a disaster.” In addition to asserting that they will both end Common Core as President of the United States (something numerous news outlets have clarified they simply cannot do), Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz have also both called the education standards a “disaster.” What Trump and Cruz mean by this is:…

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Common Core-aligned assessments are developmentally appropriate – opting out does more harm than good

Assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards are not developmentally appropriate, and parents should therefore opt-out, Anthony Cardinale, a third-grade teacher in New York, argues in a letter published by the Westchester Journal News. “Would assessing 8-year-olds using seventh-grade expectations be an accurate reflection of their skills or their coach’s effectiveness? Of course not. But…

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Common Core Assessments are the Opposite of ‘Glorified Multiple-Choice Tests’

A Hechinger Report article suggests assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards will lead to less diversity in International Baccalaureate (IB) classes by disqualifying students who traditionally do not perform well on standardized tests. Some educators say exams aligned to the Common Core “are just glorified multiple-choice tests,” the article states. “The tests are so…

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Threatening Common Core Repeal, Legislation Creates Uncertainty, Potential Turmoil for Kansas Teachers and Students

Lawmakers in Kansas are considering legislation that would prohibit school districts from aligning materials and tests to Common Core State Standards. Opposition has come from leaders who perceive the standards as a “one-size-fits-all” initiative, the Associated Press reports. “The writers of this (curriculum) did not consider how differently kids think,” says one parent. Common Core…

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Primary Debates Continue to Showcase Lack of Knowledge on Common Core

In the early stages of most recent GOP primary debate, the moderator asked for thoughts on the Common Core State Standards. RedState posted an article on the exchange, which is subtly titled “Ted Cruz is Absolutely Correct on Common Core.” But there are a number of reasons why this article – and some conservatives like…

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Opt Out Efforts Disregard Value of Assessments for All Students

Activists in New York are planning an “Opt Out, Shop Out” event to encourage parents to have their students refuse state tests, Newsday reports. “Opting out is the only way we will continue to see change,” says Jeanette Deutermann, an organizer of the event. “We want to make sure that the testing system is disrupted…

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The Opt Out Movement Does More Harm Than Good

In a recent opinion piece published by The Progressive, Jesse Hagopian, a Progressive Education Seattle fellow, argues student assessments serve the interests of “corporate education reformers” and “a multibillion-dollar testing industry,” not minority families. “Standardized testing was invented by white supremacists and maintains institutional racism,” Hagopian claims. “Our task must be to build multiracial alliances…

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High-Quality Assessments Ensure Students Become College- and Career-Ready

The Bradenton Herald editorial board applauds efforts to have students refuse state tests, claiming opting out is “civil disobedience at its finest” and shows “families are putting some muscle behind their opposition” to testing policies. The editorial quotes Joanne McCall, president of the Florida Education Association, who says, “Florida is cheating our children out of…

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Why the Massachusetts Ballot Initiative to Repeal the Common Core is a bad idea

Supporters of a ballot initiative that would repeal Massachusetts’ Common Core State Standards continued to mischaracterize the standards Monday, calling them “sinister,” and “an unholy alliance between the education industrial complex and our federal government,” WWLP News 22 reports. Diane Colorio, director of End Common Core Massachusetts, the group pushing the measure, argued the state…

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Common Core May Still Rally Some Activists, But Parents and Teachers Strongly Support College- and Career-Ready Expectations

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, commentator Michelle Malkin criticized Ohio Governor John Kasich for supporting Common Core State Standards. “[Kasich] pretended that he was on the side of local control. Ohio grassroots activists and moms know better,” Malkins claimed, The Hill reports. Malkin also took issue with Republicans who support the standards…

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Correcting the Record: Common Core State Standards Are Not the Work of ‘Political Elitists’

During an education panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project claimed, “Common Core exposes a rift between political elitists and the people,” Red Alert Politics reports. McGroarty went on to criticize states for failing to make substantive changes to their Common Core State Standards, which he alleges lack…

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Correcting the Record: ACT Aspire President Suggests Common Core State Standards Aren’t College- and Career-Ready Enough

In a letter to the Oklahoman, Darice Keating, president of ACT Aspire, writes, “College and career readiness and Common Core State Standards are not the same.” Keating goes further to suggest that unlike consortia tests, “ACT Aspire assessments provide the essential information to help get and keep students on the path toward readiness without wasting…

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Common Core, High-Quality Assessments Are Helping New York Students Succeed

In an opinion piece published by the Journal News, Nicholas Tampio, an associate professor at Fordham University, alleges that the New York Board of Regents’ plan to improve on the state’s education standards fails parents and teachers by not fully replacing the Common Core. “The Regents plan suggests that they have no interest in challenging…

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Common Core Prepares Students for Success in Math

For many students, “math is often an impenetrable barrier to academic success,” and requiring them to reach high-levels like Algebra II—as Common Core State Standards do—“drives dropouts at both the high school and college levels,” argues Dana Goldstein, an education author, in an opinion piece published by Slate. Goldstein cites fellow author Andrew Hacker, who…

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Setting the Record Straight: State Academic Standards vs. State Assessment Policies

A recent Newsday headline, “Anti-Common Core Forum in Massapequa Draws about 200 People,” suggests a large number of parents, teachers and administrators turned out to oppose New York’s Common Core Standards. In fact, as the article goes on to clarify, participants joined the forum to voice concerns about testing policies, which are separate from the…

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Anti-Common Core Ballot Initiative Would Be Bad for Massachusetts Teachers and Students

In an opinion piece published by the New Boston Post, Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project argue that Massachusetts had no reason to adopt the “untested, unpiloted Common Core scheme.” The authors go further to claim officials were financially incentivized, by federal funds and public interests, and encourage parents to support…

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PARCC Assessments Are the Kind of High-Quality Tests Parents Should Want Their Children to Take

Parents should resist the “devastating effect that high-stakes testing has” by opposing PARCC assessments, New Jersey Education Association President Wendell Steinhauer argues in a letter published by the Morris County Daily Record. “PARCC is not a good test…We refuse to let PARCC stifle our educators’ creativity or our children’s futures,” Steinhauer claims. Contrary to Steinhauer’s…

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States are Making the Common Core Standards Work for Their Students

Contrary to Holland’s claim that Common Core aligned exams are “in the midst of a death spiral,” states are in fact staying the course with rigorous standards and high-quality assessments. Of the 45 states to initially adopt the standards, only one has moved to replace the standards with a set of distinctly different learning goals…

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Fact Checking Salon’s Claims about Common Core

A Salon article written by Nikhil Goyal states, “In 2011, King was named the education commissioner of New York state. He oversaw the rocky implementation of the Common Core standards. The standards, which are currently adopted by 43 states (and falling by the day), dictate what children must know and be able to do in…

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Kansas blog gets it wrong on Common Core, assessments, and textbooks

A Topeka Capital-Journal blog published Wednesday called the Common Core State Standards “not good at all,” stating that America “didn’t become a great nation by mimicking China before and we shouldn’t be doing it now with this foolish love affair we have with standardized testing.” The author also asserts that “nearly half of surveyed teachers…

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Common Core Standards are Helping to Close the Honesty Gap

In a blog for Heartland Institute, Joy Pullmann claims that “despite Common Core’s promise of providing equal, nationwide benchmarks for student learning in math and reading, a new study finds proficiency levels on Common Core tests vary widely.” Contrary to Pullmann’s claims that Common Core State Standards are “inflating student proficiency,” rigorous and consistent academic…

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Common Core State Standards are a “Non-Issue” in the Presidential Race

In a column published by Townhall, Common Core opponent Phyllis Schlafly outlined how Common Core “ended the Bush Dynasty.” Schlafly details how education issues plagued both then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and George Bush, and how Governor Jeb Bush’s stance on Common Core would “‘kill’ any chance of returning the Bush family to the White…

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Experts Agree: Common Core Helps Students Build a Strong Understanding of Math

A report by the American Principles Project argues that Common Core State Standards blur “the line of distinction between standard and curriculum” and offer no evidence they will improve students’ understanding of math. “Analysis of the standards provides no compelling evidence that excellence in understanding or applying mathematics will be attained,” the authors assert. Educators…

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Some GOP Politicians Don’t Understand that the ESSA Ends Federal Involvement in State Standards, Promotes Local Control in Education

During a recent interview published by WND News, Senator Ted Cruz again claimed Common Core State Standards are the work of federal authorities. “Education is too important, I believe, for it to be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Washington,” Cruz said. “So if I’m elected president, in the very first days in office, I intend…

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Michigan Lawmakers’ Attempts to Repeal Common Core Standards Put Student Achievement at Risk

Michigan State Representative Gary Glenn will introduce legislation that seeks to repeal and replace the state’s Common Core Standards, according to a release by the group Stop Common Core in Michigan. “The goal of this legislation is to repeal the unproven, nationally driven Common Core Standards and assessments in Michigan,” the site boasts. Rep. Glenn…

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PARCC Assessments Have Not Caused “Academic Deterioration” in Massachusetts

PARCC assessments, along with Common Core State Standards, have caused an “academic deterioration” in Massachusetts, Gregory Sullivan, a research director at the Pioneer Institute, alleges in an opinion piece published by the Gloucester Times. “Over the long term, stemming the commonwealth’s decline will require restoring state English and math standards to their pre-Common Core academic…

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Don’t Blame Common Core State Standards for Confusing Math Problems

  A video by the Independent Journal Review shows four adults struggling to make sense of a confusing math problem allegedly aligned to Common Core State Standards. “What I’ve heard about Common Core is that adults can’t do it,” one man says at the outset. Another participant concludes, “I wouldn’t teach [students] with this.” There…

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Massachusetts Ballot Initiative to Repeal Common Core Risks Putting Students and Teachers at a Disadvantage

End Common Core Massachusetts, a group seeking to add a ballot question that would require voters to determine whether to replace the state’s Common Core Standards, has gather enough signatures, and the issue will now be heard by the Legislature. The group’s members falsely insist that Common Core is a federal intrusion into local education…

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Correcting US News & World Report: More states are using high-quality Common Core-aligned assessments

  “Opposition to new Common Core assessments have led to their review, revision or replacement in many states,” Nat Malkus, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, claims in an opinion piece published by US News & World Report. “Concerns over the time spent on tests and test prep have boiled over into opt-out…

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What Candidates Should Be Discussing: How Every Student Succeeds Act gives control back to states

  In an opinion piece published by the Seventy-Four, Conor Williams, a senior researcher at New America’s Education Policy Program, suggests that the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed to take debate about education issues “completely off the table” during the current election cycle. Calling the ESSA a “deeply problematic law,” Williams suggest that ESSA’s…

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Reminder: New Education Law Forbids Federal Government from Mandating Common Core

During the February 6th Republican presidential debate, Senator Ted Cruz reiterated a pledge to repeal Common Core State Standards on his first day in office. “The reason I can end Common Core at the federal level is because Obama is abusing executive power using Race to the Top funds and the Department of Education to…

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Correcting GOOD Magazine: States are actually making progress to deliver more consistent academic expectations

A recent article in GOOD Magazine claims the U.S. education system is in “chaos,” citing the “rise and fall of Common Core” as one example of that. But in fact, the Common Core is alive and well, and states are making progress to deliver more consistent academic expectations between states and districts. Only one state—Oklahoma—has…

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Legislation to Repeal West Virginia’s Common Core Standards Risks ‘Continuous, Relentless Disruption’

This week West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation that seeks to replace the state’s Common Core Standards and associated assessments by the 2017-18 school year, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. “The fact that essentially, in our estimation, what you have is Common Core Standards rebranded—to think that’s going to resolve the concerns that are out there, I…

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Is Common Core Forcing ‘Islamic Indoctrination’ on Public Schools? No.

Common Core State Standards indoctrinate public school students with Islamic ideology, a recent Investor’s Business Daily editorial egregiously alleges. “Parents should know that this unconstitutional promotion of Islam—along with the marginalization, even denigration, of Christianity—is happening in public schools across the country as part of President Obama’s Common Core curriculum.” The editorial perpetuates the flat-out…

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Alabama Lawmaker Risks Setting Students and Teachers Back

Earlier this year Alabama State Senator Rusty Glover introduced legislation for the fourth year in a row to repeal the state’s College and Career Ready Standards, which are based on the Common Core, the Decatur Daily reports. “The unproven, new Common Core standards, which replaced Alabama’s previously praised state-driven standards, are limiting our ability to…

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Opt-Out Advocates Threaten One of Parents’ and Teachers’ Strongest Tools

Even as the Every Student Succeeds Act reinforces once and for all state and local control of education and testing policies, opt-out advocates continue to undermine one of the strongest tools parents and teachers have to measure student readiness. “What was once a whisper is now boldly stated,” asserts Carol Burris, executive director of the…

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Correcting the Record: Fiorina Calls Common Core ‘Crony Capitalism’

During a town hall event in Iowa, Carly Fiorina claimed Common Core State Standards are the work of Washington bureaucrats and “crony capitalism,” Breitbart News reports. “In the case of Common Core, guess who helped write it? Textbook companies and the testing companies. It’s all crony capitalism, folks,” Fiorana asserted. In actuality, Common Core State…

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Common Core Attacks Popular Among Some Republicans, But Voters Continue to Support Rigorous Education Standards

Attacking Common Core State Standards “sits at the top of the pantheon of red meat lines” for Republican presidential candidates, a recent CNN article asserts. “Common Core-bashing is a staple for almost every Republican candidate. The issue is synonymous among conservatives with Obama and the expansion of government.” While Common Core State Standards have become…

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Donald Trump Calls the Common Core a ‘Disaster’ Even Though the Standards Are Working

In a video on Facebook, Donald Trump claims, “Common Core is a total disaster. We can’t let it continue.” Mischaracterizing the standards as a federal initiative, Trump adds, “Education has to be at the local level. We can’t have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education…We’re going to end Common…

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Massachusetts Charts a Course towards High-Quality Student Assessments

The decision by Massachusetts education officials to develop a hybrid student assessment that will incorporate elements of both PARCC and MCAS was made under pressure from Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, who wanted to effectively keep PARCC under a new name, the Lowell Sun editorial alleges. “Chester…threw two carrots Lowell’s way to sweeten the pot,” the…

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Educators Know Common Core Is Not a Curriculum. Others Don’t Seem to Get It

A recent Yahoo! Parenting article—which actually emphasizes educators’ strong support for the Common Core—conflates the standards with curriculum and claims one would be “hard pressed to find a nice word about the curriculum from parents.” “Common Core is a set of standards—not a curriculum,” former Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote last year. “It does not…

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Correcting the Record: New Hidden-Camera Video Is Evidence Common Core Pushes a ‘Progressive Agenda’

This week, conservative activist James O’Keefe released the latest in a series of hidden-camera videos, which shows a former textbook publisher employee saying, “Dead white guys did not create this country.” According to a WND article, the video contends that “Common Core pushes an elitist, progressive agenda of global warming, gun control and other liberal-left positions…

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Parents Have an Opportunity to Support Math Learning by Working with Teachers, Not Against Them

In an opinion piece published by Town Hall, Common Core critic James Milgram alleges that supporters of Common Core State Standards have “perpetuated a gigantic fraud on this country” and seek to have parents stop helping their kids with homework. “Asking parents to sit back and watch the sabotaging of their children’s mathematical future rather…

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Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, States Have Full Control of Education Standards—and They Continue to Implement Common Core

Voters should need leaders who will “get our education system back on track” by opposing Common Core State Standards, contends Phyllis Schlafly, an outspoken critic of the standards, in an opinion piece published by Charisma News. “We hope some candidates will distinguish themselves from the pack by calling for eliminating Common Core and restoring local…

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Common Core Hasn’t ‘Robbed a Generation’ – It’s Ensuring More Students Are Prepared for College and Careers

In an opinion piece republished by One News Now, Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, argues “chances are [Common Core] has robbed a generation” by slowing down the progression of learning and impeding the foundations of a good education. Yet, states adopted Common Core State Standards precisely because they set rigorous, clear…

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Common Core Standards Create Greater Room for Creativity and Flexibility – They Don’t Limit It

In a letter published by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee high-school student Michael Waldrop alleges Common Core Standards “limit flexibility in the classroom” and diminish “the value of a fine-arts education.” By forcing teachers into “rigid parameters,” Waldrop contends that Common Core State Standards impede educators’ ability to adjust their lessons to meet student needs….

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Ohio Senate Candidate Calls for Ending ‘Common Core Curriculum,’ Ignores State and Local Control of the Standards

Janet Folger Porter, who is running for the Ohio Senate 22nd District seat, pledges to introduce legislation to repeal “Common Core curriculum” if elected. “Common Core curriculum, which dumbs down kids and makes them go around the block to find the answer to their addition problem—we’ve got to stop it,” Porter asserts in an interview…

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Hidden-Camera Videos Get Further Scrutiny for Misconstruing the Facts

Last week, conservative activist James O’Keefe released hidden-camera videos that allegedly reveal textbook publishers support Common Core State Standards only because of their profit-making potential. “It’s all about the money,” a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt manager says in the footage. “You don’t think that educational publishing companies are in it for the kids, do you?” In…

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Candidates Exchange Barbs over Common Core State Standards

After receiving only a single question and a passing mention through the last five Republican debates, it wasn’t surprising Common Core State Standards came up in last night’s debate. Nor was it altogether surprising the candidates discussing the issue reiterated mischaracterizations that opponents have used to derail honest debate. Speaking about his recent criticism of…

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Opt-Out Legislation in Delaware Risks Undermining Parents’, Teachers’ Access to Honest Information about Student Development

Lawmakers in Delaware are working to walk back the state’s efforts to provide parents and teachers’ with accurate information about student development, the Associated Press reports. Led by State Rep. John Kowalko, they are challenging Gov. Markell’s veto of a bill allowing students to opt out of Delaware’s Smarter Balanced assessments without repercussions. Gov. Markell,…

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Hidden Camera Footage Offensive to Educators, Reiterates Importance of Local Control

On Tuesday, conservative activist James O’Keefe released a hidden-camera video that purports to show that textbook publishers support Common Core State Standards only because of their profit-making potential. “It’s all about the money,” a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt account manager says in the footage. “You don’t think that educational publishing companies are in it for the…

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The Every Student Succeeds Act: Giving Control Back to States, Ensuring Academic Standards Are Managed Locally

In an op-ed published in the Washington Times, Robert Holland, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, claims the Every Student Succeeds Act “actually seals in federal control, rather than empowering local stewards of education.” Holland asserts, “It is time to stop letting political hacks and blowhards in Washington control our kids’ futures and to…

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Correcting the Record: Common Core Has ‘Robbed a Generation’

In an opinion piece published by the Heartland Institute, Peter Ward, president of the National Association of Scholars, claims states have invested too much in Common Core State Standards to get out, and “chances are it has robbed a generation.” “Policymakers and educators must implement a better educational model, a task that will involve repair…

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Correcting the Record: For Teachers and Parents, High-Quality Assessments Provide Valuable Information

On Thursday, the Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, urged the governor and state legislature to replace Smarter Balanced assessments, the Connecticut Post reports. “Why are we giving students a test when they can’t read it or write it or speak it?” said Ana Batista, a local special education teacher, who argued that…

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Following in Ohio’s Footsteps, Florida Sets Proficiency Targets Low

On January 6, the Florida Board of Education voted on new proficiency benchmarks in math and reading for the Florida Standards Assessment, the Associated Press reports. Under the new scores, more than 50 percent of 10th grade students will meet or exceed proficiency targets, significantly higher than the proficiency rate identified by the National Assessment…

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Correcting the Record: Potential Kentucky Review of the Common Core Conflated with Repeal

An Associated Press article asserts that legislation introduced in the Kentucky Senate seeks to “dismantle” the state’s Common Core Standards. State Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Wilson says the bill will be a top priority for lawmakers because the current system has created a “quagmire of instructional compliance rather than results.” But a close read…

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States Have Taken Control of Their Education Standards. So Why Do Some Critics Still Insist Common Core Is the Work of the Federal Gov’t?

In an opinion piece published by the Daily Caller, Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project claim passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act will test whether state leaders will “fight on the behalf of citizenry, or whether they [will] spiral into disrepute.” Common Core State Standards, the authors argue, are “demonstrably…

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Attacks on the Campaign Trail Continue to Mischaracterize the Common Core

In a new campaign video, Senator Ted Cruz continues to falsely claim that Common Core State Standards are a tool of the federal government to take control of local education. “I will direct the U.S. Department of Education that Common Core ends today. Instead I will restore power back to the states and to the…

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‘Review’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Repeal’: Inaccurate Reporting Mischaracterizes States’ Commitment to Common Core State Standards

A recent Education World article asserts, “2015 became the year that Arkansas decided to move away from the Common Core.” It goes further to claim that “many states will be accessing or re-doing state standards to rely less on Common Core and aligned tests.” Both statements mischaracterize states’ efforts to ensure high, consistent education standards…

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Risking a Step Backward: Maine Lawmakers File Legislation to Repeal the State’s Common Core Standards

Ahead of the 2016 legislative session, Maine State Representative Will Tuell filed a bill seeking to replace the state’s Common Core State Standards by the end of the 2016-17 school year. “For parents who recognize that Common Core is a mess and a disaster, you will have a real opportunity to make a difference, and…

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Some Candidates Continue to Harp on the Common Core, Even Though States Are Moving Forward

Late last month during a campaign stop in Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio trotted out a recycled criticism of the Common Core, calling the standards a federal overstep on control of education, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The federal government “has tried to take over our schools with Common Core,” Sen. Rubio proclaims in a…

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Common Core ‘Free Fall’? Actually, 2015 Was a Good Year for Rigorous Education Standards and High-Quality Assessments

Under the banner “Common Core Support Descends into Free Fall,” a recent Education World article proclaims, “This was not the year for Common Core.” Massachusetts “will be completely scrapping Common Core assessments,” the article claims, and New York “will be pulling back” following “unfavorable findings” from the Common Core Task Force launched by Gov. Andrew…

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Correcting the Record: West Virginia Board of Education Faces New Standards Vote Thursday

Ahead of a vote Thursday to determine whether West Virginia will “repeal Common Core” and adopt the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards, State Superintendent Michael Martirano claims the move is necessary to get past the political infighting over the Common Core. “My goal is to listen to the legislature, listen to our community…

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Correcting the Record: New York’s Decision to ‘Overhaul’ Common Core Could Pave the Way for Other States

Education officials in New York are “moving ahead with a plan to substantially overhaul and possibly replace” the state’s Common Core Standards, Blake Neff’s article in the Daily Caller claims. “While there has been a major Common Core backlash in several Republican-controlled states, it has been sturdier in blue states. Should New York pull out,…

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