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Secretary DeVos and States Move Past the Politicized Debate over Standards

On February 16, 2017, Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo in response to recent comments made by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, on what the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) means for the Common Core State Standards: During his campaign, we heard President Trump vow to “repeal Common…

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Incoming Education Secretary: High Standards Matter

President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education has ignited considerable speculation about the impact her confirmation may have on the future of high, comparable interstate education standards. Much of the uncertainty surrounding Ms. DeVos’ views has arisen because of her own seemingly conflicting statements. Almost immediately after she became…

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Scores on the Rise: Majority of States with High Standards in Place See Improvement

On October 5, 2016 Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Jim Cowen released the following memo on the states’ recent test scores: A few weeks ago, I wrote that states with tests aligned to new, higher academic standards were beginning to report year-over-year scores. Students, parents, teachers and policymakers could now assess student progress and adjust…

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Statement from Collaborative for Student Success on Donald Trump’s Education Remarks

Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Jim Cowen released the following statement regarding Donald Trump’s education “policy” remarks that get the facts wrong on high academic standards: “Donald Trump fundamentally misunderstands the Common Core. He apparently doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, that when he calls for equity in education, access, affordability and accountability to the…

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PDK Poll Joins the Call to Keep the Bar High

From Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success While Americans may disagree over the exact purpose of a strong education, they roundly agree that educators should challenge all students to develop skills necessary for success after high school, whatever path they choose. Results from Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International’s annual public opinion…

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Education Next Poll: Strong Support for High Standards, Not Labels

On August 23, 2016, Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo on Education Next’s new poll results on high standards and assessments: Education Next’s annual public opinion survey confirms what we’ve long suspected: it’s time to stop fighting about the words “Common Core” and move forward. While the Common…

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It’s Still Early, But Test Results Appear to Show Improvements

From Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success Last year, most states administered assessments aligned to Common Core State Standards for the first time, establishing a new, more rigorous baseline for student achievement. As the Collaborative noted then, the milestone marked a new era in education. Finally, states began measuring students to…

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Common Core State Standards Are Still the Right Way to Prepare Students for College and Careers

On June 13, 2016, Jim Cowen, Interim Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo in response to the release of ACT’s National Curriculum Survey: Last week ACT released the results of its latest National Curriculum Survey, a periodic poll of K-12 and college educators. The report suggests big discrepancies between…

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The Fallacy of Going It Alone on Student Assessments

On June 3, 2016, Jim Cowen, Interim Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo detailing the fiscal and logistical challenges facing states that have moved away from the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments: Last year, for the first time, a majority of states across the country implemented meaningful tests aligned…

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States Once Again Affirm Their Support for the Common Core

On May 5, 2016, Jim Cowen, Interim Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo showing how the Common Core State Standards continue to prevail across the country: Six years in, the debate over high, comparable standards has subsided. Predictions of widespread repeal have failed to materialize. In Indiana and South Carolina,…

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What America Can Learn from Oklahoma’s Go-It-Alone Approach

This week marks an important moment for academic standards in Oklahoma: will the state regress to a lower bar or will they stand for higher expectations? As soon as today, Oklahoma lawmakers must decide if they want to approve weaker standards or start over again. And the rest of the country will be watching. Towards…

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Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the Common Core Confusion

On March 14, 2016 Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, weighed in on Common Core which came up in the March 10 GOP debate: To the casual observer watching last Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, it must have seemed that K-12 curriculum in America is tightly managed by federal bureaucrats, and Common Core State…

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Why Common Core is a Non-Issue in the Race for President

On January 28, 2016 Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, weighed in on Common Core as a non-issue in the presidential elections: In a primetime debate two weeks ago in South Carolina, Republican leaders engaged in a spirited dialogue about the Common Core State Standards and what each’s position means for their…

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Hidden Camera Footage Offensive to Supporters of Common Core

Washington, DC – Blair Mann, Director of Media Relations for The Collaborative for Student Success released the following statement on January 12th, 2016 after a conservative activist released secretly recorded video of individuals in the sales and education professions denigrating children and Common Core State Standards: “Like many other organizations committed to raising education standards, we…

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The Empire State’s Affirmation of Common Core

On Tuesday December 15, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success issued the following statement on New York’s Task Force recommendations to revise the state’s Common Core State Standards: New York this past week became the latest in a long line of states to embark on a process to revise and…

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Every Student Succeeds Act: Reversal of Bush-Era Education Law Restores Local Control

On Tuesday December 8, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success issued the following statement on the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly and in bipartisan fashion to approve the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bill that represents a significant shift…

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PARCC and Massachusetts Are Moving Forward

On November 17, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following memo on Massachusetts State Board of Education decision on the state’s academic assessment. Today, the Massachusetts State Board of Education voted to move forward with a compromise that will establish a next-generation, hybrid assessment as a way to update the state’s…

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9 Reasons Why the Wall Street Journal Got it Wrong on Common Core

Statement from Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Karen Nussle: This week the Wall Street Journal published an extensive front page story that, at best, misrepresented the persistence of the Common Core, and at worst, was largely erroneous. In fact, the story was so inaccurate that we easily assembled a list of the nine most egregious…

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NAEP Release: Collaborative for Student Success

October 28, 2015 This morning NAEP released scores for students across the country. Below is our statement on the score results, along with what the media and other education groups are saying. Our statement: 2015 NAEP Scores Underscore Importance of Clear, Consistent Learning Goals In response to the new data released this morning from the…

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2015 NAEP Scores Underscore Importance of Clear, Consistent Learning Goals

Statement from Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Karen Nussle: WASHINGTON (October 28, 2015) – In response to the new data released this morning from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following statement: “The results of this year’s National Assessment of…

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ICYMI: Louisiana Voters Overwhelmingly Support Common Core Candidates

On October 27, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following memo on Louisiana’s recent State Education Board election results: As last Saturday’s Louisiana State Education Board elections results clearly showed, the vocal minority’s attempts to ignite opposition to the Common Core State Standards among voters largely flopped, similar to the…

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Arkansas and Ohio’s score reports raise questions for parents

UPDATED 10/14/15: Last night, Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key clarified the state’s announcement about their performance levels, noting that the original statement “left a misleading impression that Arkansas was backing away from high standards.” Click here to read Key’s full statement, in which he shares that it was an error to describe Level 3 as…

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Closing the Honesty Gap in the Sunshine State

On October 6, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following memo on Florida’s upcoming decision on honesty and transparency: The Collaborative for Student Success yesterday weighed in on a contentious statewide debate brewing in Florida over how the state should define student proficiency. At its core, the debate in Florida is…

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Buckeye State Report Raises Questions for Parents

Click here for updates to this memo on 10/12/15. On September 16, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following memo on Ohio’s definition of student proficiency: Ohio this week became the first PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) state in the country to release preliminary student test…

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Polling Reinforces Support for High Standards

On August 24, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, issued the following memo on recently released poll results and the public’s opinions on state standards and accountability: Over the past two weeks, four national education polls—Education Next, Center for American Progress/Public Policy Poling, The Seventy-Four and PDK/Gallup poll of America’s Attitudes toward the…

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Arkansas’s Common Core State Standards’ Review

An Arkansas task force headed by Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin will be examining the future of the state’s academic standards. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Lt. Governor feels “Arkansas should keep some elements of Common Core, but make improvements where needed to the controversial education standards and rename them to better reflect the state’s needs.” He added: “My view is you…

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Common Core has Prevailed Again

On July 1, 2015, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo showing how the Common Core State Standards continue to prevail across the country: Five years after the states initiated the creation of Common Core State Standards and then voluntarily adopted them, the debate over whether the standards will survive…

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Karen Nussle to Gov. Christie: Tell It Like It Is

Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, took to the pages of Education Post to respond to Gov. Chris Christie’s flip-flop on Common Core. Just ‘Tell It Like It Is,’ Chris Christie: The Standards Are Working By Karen Nussle A crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls has some candidates doing cartwheels to…

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Chris Christie on Common Core: Political Calculations, Not Policy Considerations

On May 29, Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo on the topic of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Common Core flip flop: Following in the footsteps of other ambitious politicians, Gov. Chris Christie yesterday called for a review of the Common Core State Standards in New Jersey….

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Common Core Standards Are Here To Stay

The following is part of an April 9, 2015 memo from Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success: In the wake of last year’s midterms, Common Core Standards appeared to be squarely in the crosshairs of newly-elected Republican majorities that swept into office in states across the country. But some three months…

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Common Core on the Main Stage

We are now well into the 2015 state legislative season and Presidential aspirants are descending upon the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire with increasing frequency. Partly as a result of Common Core’s prominence in these high-profile forums, the Common Core discussion has been thrust onto the main stage of American political discourse….

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10 Questions for Candidates Pandering on Common Core

Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following memo on Jan. 30, 2015: “Let the pandering begin!” That’s how radio host Jan Mickelson kicked off the Iowa Freedom Summit last weekend, an event organized by Congressman Steve King and Citizens United that kicks off the 2016 Iowa Caucus season. Mickelson…

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Addressing the High Cost of Remediation

The following memo was written by Karen Nussle, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, after President Obama’s State of the Union Address. The full memo can also be found here. The President this week gave the nation a prime time overview of his $80 billion plan to provide free community college tuition. The…

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In GOP Wave Election, Anti-Common Core Rhetoric Fails to Make A Splash

Examining the results of last Tuesday’s election results, the Collaborative’s director Karen Nussle notes candidates who successfully ran on anti-CCSS platforms were outliers, not the norm. Nussle points out Republicans’ win was largely attributable to moderation and efforts to, “crowd out dogmatic and divisive ideologues in favor of candidates with broad appeal and a capacity…

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Election Sees Victory for Many Common Core Supporters

Millions of Americans went to the polls on November 4 to vote for local, state, and federal officials and representatives. For the better part of this past year, opponents of Common Core threw everything but the kitchen sink at candidates who support high standards. But in the end, the Standards once again demonstrated their resiliency….

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Common Core is Working

Collaborative Executive Director Karen Nussle takes to the pages of the Washington Times to set the record straight on Common Core. She notes the evidence from states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and New York, which continue to see steady gains in proficiency rates. Nussle says, “Such notable successes demonstrate how effective setting higher expectations in our…

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Collaborative for Student Success Finds Flaws in Gov. Jindal’s Common Core Lawsuit

In a recently released memo, the Collaborative for Student Success criticized Gov. Jindal’s flip-flopping position on Common Core, especially in light of the 2016 Presidential race. As the Washington Examiner points out, “In the memo, Executive Director Karen Nussle notes that Obama administration first started promoting Common Core five years ago, yet Jindal only filed…

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