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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.
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Posted:
August 19, 2014 11:50 am
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Core of the Matter: If New Designs in Teaching and Learning Come to Pass, Vulnerable Learners Win with the Common Core (#CoreMatters)

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For at least the last two decades, public policy related to education equity in this country has been focused on very modest targets.  In the late 1980s, the report A Nation at Risk led to state-driven efforts to pass minimum competency legislation, essentially learning basic skills in core academic subjects.  The 1990s gave rise to the so-called standards-based reform movement with an emphasis on specific learning outcomes in key content areas.  Proficiency was the new target. The Common Core State Standards are a welcome departure from these uninspired targets in that these new standards focus on much more ambitious learning outcomes.

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College & Career Readiness, Common Core Equity Series, Common Core State Standards, Students of Color, Teacher Preparation
Posted: August 27, 2014 01:17 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Common Core experts testify in Ohio on behalf of the standards

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Posted:
August 27, 2014 01:17 pm
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Opponents of the Common Core in Ohio spent a week criticizing that set of standards while supporting a bill to repeal it. Now, an Ohio House committee is hearing from the other side, including some national experts who helped create those benchmarks. State Impact

In the latest blog in our Core of the Matter series. Dr. Kent McGuire, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Education Foundation and a member of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Board of Directors, considers those who stand to win (but are often forgotten in the Common Core debate) – the students.

Lawmakers and other supporters of the Common Core academic standards said at a New Orleans forum Tuesday night that Louisiana’s poorly-ranked schools need the more rigorous standards, and have “nowhere to go but up” in public schools. The Times-Picayune

A day after Los Angeles Unified abruptly suspended the contract for its controversial iPad project, there were growing calls for a more thorough investigation into whether the bidding process for the $1-billion program was improperly handled. The LA Times

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Posted: August 26, 2014 12:49 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Florida Gov. Rick Scott looks to quiet Common Core critics with new education initiatives

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Posted:
August 26, 2014 12:49 pm
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Florida Governor Rick Scott unveiled two new education initiatives on Monday aimed at calming Common Core critics, stating “We want to make sure that our students have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in their careers.” The Huffington Post

While you’re reading that, be sure to check out the latest blog in our Core of the Matter series. Dr. Kent McGuire, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Education Foundation and a member of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Board of Directors, discusses how the vulnerable learners stand to win with the Common Core.

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy suspended future use of a contract with Apple on Monday that was to provide iPads to all students in the nation’s second-largest school system amid mounting scrutiny of the $1-billion-plus effort. The LA Times

In in Op-Ed for The New York Times, Daniel Cardinali, president of Communities in Schools, points to research from Robert Balfanz, research scientist at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University and member of the Alliance’s Secondary School Improvement Advisory Group, to illustrate a need to provide social services in schools to help improve absentee numbers for at-risk students.

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Posted: August 25, 2014 05:14 pm

The Alliance’s Tom Murray discusses the ‘Digital Divide’ on Al Jazeera America

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Posted:
August 25, 2014 05:14 pm
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Tom Murray, state and district digital learning director at the Alliance for Excellent Education, was featured on Al Jazeera America’s Real Money with Ali Velshi August 22  in a segment titled “Digital Divide,” discussing the lag in digital learning among U.S. schools, especially in low-income school districts. Murray  spoke to the buying tendencies of school districts, which he said usually leaves teachers and students with the proper tools for education technology, but little knowledge on how to use them appropriately in the classroom. That learning, he said, often starts with teachers.

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Digital Learning, Education Technology, Technology
Posted: August 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Former Governor asks opponents to consider the benefits of the Common Core

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Posted:
August 25, 2014 12:32 pm
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It’s the first day of school for many K-12 and college and university students across the country. Here’s to a great academic year!


Conservatives should “stop the fight” over Common Core and instead consider the benefits that the academic standards offer students in struggling schools, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said Friday, adding that regardless of political leanings, “We want our students to achieve to the highest level they’re capable.” Associated Press

While you’re reading that, be sure to check out the latest blog from our Core of the Matters series, in which Dr. Kent McGuire, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Education Foundation and a member of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Board of Directors, discusses how the vulnerable learners stand to win with the Common Core.

Jacqueline King, director of higher education collaboration for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, discusses the roll colleges and universities play in the K-12 implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The Hechinger Report

While you’re reading that, check out our spring webinar, Getting Ready for the Assessment Consortia Field Tests, featuring King and Jeff Nelhaus, Director of Policy, Research, and Design, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

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Posted: August 22, 2014 12:09 pm

Afternoon Announcements: US Dept. of Ed announces states can seek delay on test-based teacher evaluations

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Posted:
August 22, 2014 12:09 pm
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US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing. The New York Times

In an open letter to Teachers and School Leaders, Duncan acknowledged that teachers need more time to adjust to the new forms of testing and the academic standards (i.e. the Common Core State Standards) that are rolling out in school districts across the country.

Click the embedded link below to watch Sec. Duncan’s Aug. 21 back-to-school discussion with teachers and other educators:

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Posted: August 21, 2014 02:28 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Louisiana moves forward with Common Core Standards

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Posted:
August 21, 2014 02:28 pm
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Opponents of the Common Core are up in arms about something, but it’s rarely the standards themselves. Misleading information and a lack of facts on the standards unfortunately continue.  Bob Wise, Alliance president and former governor of West Virginia, discusses how – despite the latest poll numbers, the Common Core glass remains thirty-five states full.

Public awareness of the Common Core State Standards has skyrocketed, increasing from 38 percent to 81 percent in just one year, according to the 46th annual PDK/Gallup Poll on the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. eSchoolNews

Education Superintendent John White said Wednesday that Louisiana’s public elementary and middle schools will immediately proceed with plans to use a new Common Core test for English and mathematics. The Times Picayune

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Posted: August 20, 2014 04:40 pm

Common Core Glass is Thirty-Five States Full—No Matter What National Polls Might Say

Bob Wise
Posted:
August 20, 2014 04:40 pm
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Opinions on the Common Core State Standards are everywhere. This week alone has seen the release of two different polls purporting to tell us what people think about the state-developed set of academic standards that describe what students need to know and be able to do in English and math in order to graduate from high school ready for college and a career. What do those polls say about public opinions on the Common Core? It depends.

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Common Core State Standards, Polling
Posted: August 20, 2014 12:17 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Louisiana efforts to save Common Core sees major victory

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Posted:
August 20, 2014 12:17 pm
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A Baton Rouge judge ruled in favor of a New Orleans charter school group and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Tuesday in their fight to proceed with Common Core tests, finding Governor Bobby Jindal caused “irreparable harm” to students and schools when he froze the testing contract for third through eighth graders. The Times Picayune

While you’re reading that, be sure to check out the latest in the Alliance’s ‘Core of the Matter’ blog series. Dr. Kent McGuire, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Education Foundation and a member of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Board of Directors, writes that achieving the potential of the Common Core means that the nation must figure out how to transform the education workforce.

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Posted: August 19, 2014 03:00 pm

Afternoon Announcements: LA school officials adopt new policies to reduce arrest rates in schools

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Posted:
August 19, 2014 03:00 pm
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After years of arresting students for on-campus fights and damaging school property, Los Angeles school officials are adopting new policies to reduce the number of students who are disciplined in the juvenile court system. The New York Times

A fight over the future of academic standards in Louisiana has generated dueling lawsuits, a standoff between Gov. Bobby Jindal and the state superintendent of education he appointed, and a sense of chaos among educators and parents. The New York Times

In the face of a top-down hierarchy ruling many public schools these days, some teachers are taking back their classrooms by moving to schools where they create the curriculum. PBS NewsHour

A residency program in the Baltimore, MD area is aiming to solve the ‘teacher burnout’ problem. The Baltimore Sun

Race, poverty, and geography converge in the longest trial in South Carolina’s history to improve education for public school students. Aljazeera America

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Posted: August 18, 2014 02:34 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Philadelphia school year on track despite $81 million budget deficit

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Posted:
August 18, 2014 02:34 pm
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Robert Rothman, senior fellow at the Alliance for Excellent Education, discusses the results from the New York common core state test, saying student performance levels can sometimes be misleading. The Hechinger Report

Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Friday that a series of temporary spending cuts would help administrators to close an $81 million budget deficit and that classes would start as scheduled next month. The New York Times

The standardized state of U.S. schools today grew from the Reagan blueprint, ‘A Nation at Risk.’ Why that legacy matters now. The Christian Science Monitor

As the school year approaches, President Obama is stressing the importance of students preparing themselves for college saying it’s up to students to challenge and push themselves this fall. The Hill

Montgomery County, MD has issued a new Code of Conduct that views out-of-school suspensions as a last resort and emphasizes disciplinary consequences that allow students to learn from mistakes and repair harm. The Washington Post

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