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Daily Dish: An #ESEA Update and Common Core News Highlights

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November 19, 2015 02:47 pm

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Today the Conference Committee for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed a bipartisan framework of the bill, currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), by a vote of 38-1, with only Senator Rand Paul opposing. The compromise legislation merges the two different education bills that were passed in the House and the Senate this past summer. The House will vote on the bill on December 2 or 3.  More information from Education Week.

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt a new, hybrid test that incorporates both the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test (MCAS) and the Common Core-aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The vote for this “next-generation MCAS” marks the first overhaul of standardized testing in the state in nearly two decades. The new test, which has yet to be developed, will be administered in spring 2017. Read more from the Boston Globe.

Iowa will be adopting the Smarter Balanced Assessments, a Common Core-aligned test, to replace the current state tests in math and reading beginning in the 2016-17 school year. “We need to know that Iowa students are graduating from high school prepared for success, and this is an important step in the process,” Iowa State Board of Education President Charles Edwards told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “Years ago, Iowa took the necessary steps to put in place consistent statewide academic standards that outline expectations for what students should know and be able to do…Having a state assessment that is aligned to those standards is critical to understanding whether students are meeting expectations.”

A state-wide survey in New York on the Common Core State Standards drew largely supportive responses, reports the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. According to the article, 71.5 percent of the respondents to the survey, which was geared towards teachers, administrators, and others who work with the standards every day, was supportive of the Common Core. The survey, “AimHighNY,” was launched in October as the state started a review of its first five years with the standards.

Tennessee is nearing the end of a 15-month-long review and revision of the Common Core State Standards, Chalkbeat Tennessee reports. The Academic Standards Recommendation Committee has received input from groups including colleges and universities, organizations, online reviews, and public roundtable discussions. The article notes that many comments address the presentation of the standards, and not their content, with many groups calling for supplement documentations to explain the reasoning behind the standards. The State Board will vote in January on the proposed revised standards for math and English language arts for grades 3-11.

Education Week offers insight into resources offered by PARCC and Smarter Balanced for teachers to use along with the summative assessments. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium offers an online library of instructional tools available to educators in member states, including sample lessons, instructional videos, grading rubrics, and interim tests. The Smarter Balance tools debuted last October, and the PARCC anticipates releasing their version this fall. The tools are meant to serve as part of a “system” of assessment, allowing teachers to gauge student learning in real time and adjust instruction accordingly, the article says. Learn more: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/11/11/new-tools-help-track-common-core-learning.html.

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