Michele McNeil -- This month, a majority of Washington "insiders" believe states will enact some sort of moratorium on stakes. A small portion, or 18 percent, thought the U.S. Department of Education would take such action, according to this Whiteboard Advisers survey.
Alyson Klein --Fewer students will take national tests in civics, history, and geography, thanks to across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.The executive committee of the National Assessment Governing Board, on the recommendation of the NAEP—voted recently to indefinitely postpone the 4th and 12th grade tests in the three subjects for 2014. The exams will continue for 8th graders.
Peter DeWitt -- There seems to be a lot of debate about how to teach English Language Learners (ELL) students. Some believe in bilingual education, while others believe students need to be immersed in the language they're learning.
Erik Robelen -- A state judge yesterday upheld Texas' truth-in-grading law, reports the Dallas Morning News. In doing so, she rejected arguments by nearly a dozen school districts contending that they could still require teachers to give minimum grades on student report cards.
Nirvi Shah -- Yet another school district is being investigated over disparities in the discipline rates of students of different races. News reports Wednesday said that the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights is investigating the 71,000-student Brevard County school district on Florida's east coast after four complaints were filed with the agency.
Alyson Klein -- Until recently, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the panel's top Republican, were in talks to see if there was any chance of getting a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the long-stalled No Child Left Behind Act together in this Congress. But now it's looking like the two lawmakers were unable to resolve fundamental disagreements, making an already very tough reauthorization process that much harder.
Rick Hess -- It's been a turbulent few months for the Common Core, raising real questions about its future. Opposition on the right has stretched well beyond the fringe has now been voiced by the Republican National Committee, with several Republican U.S. Senators speaking out in opposition and legislation to withdraw from the Common Core proposed in seven state legislatures.
Deborah Meier -- Yes, E.D. Hirsch is right: You can't measure reading qua reading. I not merely observed but ran little mini-focus groups to understand why some kids got "right" answers and others "wrong" ones. It had little to do with their reading skill.
Catherine Gewertz -- One of the major assumptions underlying the common assessments is that the writing portions will be computer-scored. This capability is pivotal in managing their cost and producing results quickly enough to provide valuable feedback for teachers.
Anthony Cody -- A week ago, Randi Weingarten gave a speech expressing some strong views on the Common Core. Her plea is that leaders across the country give schools a one year reprieve before the harsh consequences attached to new assessments linked to the Common Core begin to take effect. However, I do not share her optimism that this additional time will do more than forestall the disaster these tests will be for our schools.
Liana Heitin -- In an encore to American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten's speech in New York City this week, in which she called for a moratorium on high stakes linked to common-core testing, the union released the results of a poll on how members perceive the new standards.
Katie Ash -- A letter from the U.S. Department of Justice says that the state of Wisconsin must ensure that private schools receiving students using public funds through the nation's oldest voucher program are complying with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act and not discriminating against students with special needs.