Cindy Long -- As the Common Core debate heats up, we’ve heard a lot from policy makers, politicians, and even TV talk show hosts about the challenges posed by the new standards and whether they’ll help or hurt education. With all the chatter, the voices of the professionals who are actually responsible for implementing the Common Core have been all but drowned out in the mainstream media.
This problem of turning everything into “microstandards” is a problem of long standing in education. One might even say it is the original sin in curriculum design. Take a complex whole, divide into the simplest and most reductionist bits, string them together and call it a curriculum. Though well-intentioned, it leads to fractured, boring, and useless learning of superficial bits.
Michelle R. Davis -- When Delaware switched to computer-adaptive testing for its state assessments three years ago, officials found the results were available more quickly, the amount of time students spent taking tests decreased, and the tests provided more reliable information about what students knew—especially those at the very low and high ends of the spectrum.
In the latest dust-up over the Common Core, the inclusion of some (arguably) violent, war-themed picture books in New York City’s third-grade English curriculum has some whining that the recommended texts were not vetted properly—and, predictably, claiming that implementation is moving too fast.
Andrew Ujifusa -- To open the Council of Chief State School Officers' meeting here in the nation's capital today, the group's executive director, Chris Minnich, tried a bit of grim humor: "Welcome to Washington, D.C., where everything works smoothly and efficiently."
This is the second year kindergarten teachers in Indiana have taught to the Common Core, a set of nationally-crafted academic standards adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Under the new standards, kids are supposed to be able to compose basic, explanatory texts by the time they leave kindergarten.
A proposal to withdraw Indiana from the Common Core — a nationally-crafted set of academic standards already adopted in 45 other states and the District of Columbia — will get a lengthy hearing before the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.
Indiana students aren’t the only ones adjusting to the Common Core, a set of nationally-crafted academic standards adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Their teachers have been tasked with explaining key changes of the new standards not just to students but to parents, too.
Chester E. Finn, Jr. -- As the U.S. education world eagerly awaits more information about the new assessments that two consortia of states are developing to accompany the Common Core standards, dozens of perplexing and important questions have arisen: Once the federal grants run out, how will these activities be financed? What will it cost states and districts to participate? Who will govern and manage these massive testing programs? What about the technology infrastructure? The list goes on.
Catherine Gewertz -- A group that is developing tests for half the states in the nation has dramatically reduced the length of its assessment in a bid to balance the desire for a more meaningful and useful exam with concerns about the amount of time spent on testing.
Catherine Gewertz -- It's taken more than two years for the Common Core State Standards to trickle down into schools and classrooms in a significant way. So it's no surprise, then, that a recent poll found that most people know nothing about the standards. But when public knowledge of the new guidelines becomes more widespread, what level of support will they have?