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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 29, 2014 12:03 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Oklahoma loses its No Child Left Behind waiver, Indiana retains federal waiver

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Posted:
August 29, 2014 12:03 pm
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Two repeals, two very different outcomes: Officials at the U.S. Department of Education said Thursday they will not extend Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver because it depended in part on the state’s commitment to higher academic standards to prepare students for college and careers. Oklahoma opted to drop the Common Core State Standards earlier this year revert to its old K-12 practices. Though Indiana officials also decided to remove the Common Core from schools, the state kept its federal waiver after drafting standards that closely resemble the common core, according to the Dept. of Education. Politico

A judge declared Texas’ school finance system unconstitutional again on Thursday, finding that even though the Legislature had pumped an extra $3 billion-plus into classrooms last summer, the state still failed to provide adequate funding or distribute it fairly among districts. The New York Times

Fourteen Mississippi school districts sued the state Thursday, seeking money they say they were illegally shorted by the state’s public school funding formula over the last six years. The districts say they’re owed $115 million. SF Gate

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Posted: August 29, 2014 09:43 am

Deeper Learning Digest: Students need support transitioning into active, deeper learning roles

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Posted:
August 29, 2014 09:43 am
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The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed to stay up-to-date on all deeper learning news. Please be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter for more on deeper learning.


It takes a village - or at least a strong relationship to motivate students and remind them of their capabilities in deeper learning. This week’s digest features several examples of the impact deep meaningful bonds can have on deeper learning.

How teaching practices are observed and evaluated can determine whether teachers shift to deeper learning approaches. Robert Rothman, senior fellow at the Alliance, writes while states may take US Dept. of Education Secretary Arne Duncan up on his offer to postpone the use of test scores in teacher evaluations for a year, they should also consider looking at how they judge teaching practices, for the sake of deeper learning. Learning Deeply

Seven grantees from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Building Blocks for College Completion grant program worked to scale innovations designed to promote deeper learning and student engagement in higher education to other institutions. The results, published in the recently released report Innovations Designed for Deeper Learning in Higher Education, suggest that students need support to transition to the more active role that deeper learning demands and that faculty need support, training, and time to create, implement, and sustain reforms that change student learning.

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Career & Technical Education, College & Career Readiness, Deeper Learning
Posted: August 28, 2014 12:17 pm

Afternoon Announcements: U.S. Dept. of Education announces ‘Back-to-School Bus Tour’ to the South

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Posted:
August 28, 2014 12:17 pm
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The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday Secretary Arne Duncan will visit Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee for the Department’s fifth annual back-to-school bus tour starting Monday, Sept. 8, highlighting the states’ commitment to encourage reform and innovation and help all students to achieve success. U.S. Department of Education

National education experts and local elected officials expressed doubt Wednesday that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration over the Common Core academic standards would succeed. The Times Picayune

The Chicago’s Board of Education unanimously changed how it ranks its schools Wednesday, introducing minimums that will benefit the highest-performing schools and potentially lessen the number of schools at the bottom performing schools would show less academic growth, thus affecting their School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) scores. The Chicago Sun-Times

More than $2 million worth of Los Angeles Unified computers, mostly iPads, could not be accounted for during a recent audit by the school system’s inspector general. The review also found that the school district lacked an effective tracking system — and that losses could be higher as a result.  The LA Times

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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
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