And Here Comes the Nationalized Curriculum #stopcommoncore #ccss

American Principles Project -

Politico reports that a Gates-funded non-profit,,has launched to oversee Common Core-aligned curriculum.

A new nonprofit funded with $3 million from the Gates Foundation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust launches today with plans to review textbooks and other instructional material for fidelity to the Common Core. will start by bringing in teams of classroom teachers to evaluate K-8 math materials. The curricula will be judged by how well it matches the Common Core and assesses student learning and by whether it offers teachers guidance in reaching children at all levels.The group will post its ratings online and invite response from the publishers. Up first: Pearson’s enVision Math, McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Math, Houghton Mifflin’s Go Math and more than a dozen other widely used curricula. EdReports will turn to high-school math and language arts in future years.

…The project is led by Eric Hirsch, formerly of the New Teacher Center, and Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College. They say they hope districts will turn to their ratings to guide purchases. “Hopefully with great materials, great teachers and great standards, we will be able to move the needle on student achievement,” Hirsch said. Incoming NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia supports the effort; she says curriculum ratings could improve Common Core implementation “by shining a light” on quality materials.

But Common Core is just standards, not curriculum right? That’s what we’ve been told by advocates ever since the standards were adopted. There is a trickle down effect which Gates has always sought to impact. He wasn’t just concerned about standards, but curriculum and assessments as well.

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Florida: The Lee County School Board voted to take a stand and opt out

ConversationEd -

by Kathleen Jasper,

I didn’t think there would be a vote tonight. I imagined the Board would listen to concerned parents, teachers and students and then make up some excuse as to why we would have to continue the madness andunsustainability of high-stakes testing. I figured they would do what most elected officials do: pretend to listen to the people and then make the decision that was easiest to implement.

Suddenly, the Board chair, Tom Scott, read from the Constitution and made it clear he worked for the people. Then he motioned for a vote on the issue to opt out of all state mandated tests as an entire district. His motion was to opt out of all Florida mandated assessments immediately.

I looked over at my husband with my eyes wide and mouthed the words, “Holy crap!”

A couple of the Board members tried to stall saying, “We need a plan in place.”

The superintendent tried everything to stop the motion – saying things like, “I caution the Board not to do this.” And, “There may be consequences.”

But the Board had heard from a room full of fed up parents, students and teachers tired of being used in the game of testing, money and so called accountability.

A little girl read a speech she prepared on her own about how the test told her she couldn’t read. She said, “How am I supposed to get better when I never get to see the results of my tests?” And, “The first time I took the test I failed; the second time I took the same test I was in the top 10% percent of my grade.”


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With Huppenthal’s Loss in AZ School Chief Race That Makes Barbarians 3, Educrats 0

Truth in American Education -

Diane Douglas beat pro-Common Core incumbent Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal in convincing fashion 57.78% to 41.50% winning over 66,000 more votesaccording to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

The barbarians at the gate crashed through evidently.

Huppenthal is the third incumbent state school chief to go down in flames over supporting the Common Core State Standards.

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Bobby Jindal Exercises Leadership in Common Core Lawsuit #stopcommoncore #ccss

Truth in American Education -

by Shane Vander Hart

I have to tip my hat to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.  Even though he encountered a setback in court in regards to his executive order pulling Louisiana out of PARCC he forged ahead in his opposition.  Jindal has done what frankly every Governor should do – file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education challenging the constitutionality of their involvement with Common Core.

“The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative. Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C. in control of everything. What started out as an innovative idea to create a set of base-line standards that could be ‘voluntarily’ used by the states has turned into a scheme by the federal government to nationalize curriculum,” Jindal said in a released statement.

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School rating system gets tweaked #stopcommoncore #ccss

Catalyst Chicago -

Just one year after unveiling a new School Quality Rating Policy that’s based on a range of indicators from attendance to academic growth, the Board of Education voted on Wednesday to now allow schools to be ranked entirely on their test results.

The change to the rating policy comes because high-performing schools would show less academic growth, thus affecting their SQRP scores, explained John Barker, the district’s chief of accountability.

Ultimately, this would “make it more difficult for schools that are performing at those top levels to [have] much growth that’s higher,” Barker told reporters after the meeting.

Under the revised policy, schools will get two ratings: one based on the SQRP and one based solely on test scores. The higher of the two ratings would be their official rank in the district’s 5-tier system.

Elementary schools that rank in the top 90th percentile nationally in both reading and math on the NWEA will automatically land in Tier 1, regardless of their SQRP score. A Catalyst Chicago analysis of the data shows that 50 elementary schools would be automatically ranked in the highest tier based on test scores, including 21 selective enrollment or magnet schools.

For high schools, the rating will be based on the composite scores for EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT.

Cassie Creswell from the anti-testing group More Than a Score says she finds it “bizarre” that CPS is revising a performance policy before even issuing its first ratings based on it.

 “The performance policy seems to ignore social science, which shows that when you put pressure on one measure then people start to juice the stats. They will do whatever they can to get high test scores,” she says.

The ratings, which will be released in about three weeks, are important because they determine whether a school may be targeted for actions – such as a turnaround or closure. And parents are more likely to try to send their children to a highly rated school, which impacts enrollment.

Delay of PARCC?

During the public comment portion of the meeting, parent activist Wendy Katten told the board she was concerned about the state’s implementation of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (known as the PARCC), which is supposed to take place this spring.

“The issue with the PARCC test is not that it’s rigorous or challenging,” said Katten, of Raise Your Hand Illinois. “But the instructions are confusing, and the answers are often vague.” Katten added that some parts of the computer-based version of the test are clunky.

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Breitbart -

The federally funded Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a Common Core assessment consortium, issued a press release Friday that confirmed the Common Core standards and their associated tests are intended to drive curriculum.

Though developers and proponents of the Common Core initiative have argued that Common Core is merely “standards” and not “curriculum,” the latter of which local school districts can decide themselves, chief executive officer of PARCC Laura Slover said in the release, “High quality assessments go hand-in-hand with high quality instruction based on high quality standards. You cannot have one without the other. The PARCC states see quality assessments as a part of instruction, not a break from instruction.”

“The PARCC assessment system is a new way of testing that reduces time spent on ‘test prep,’ because the only way to prepare for these more sophisticated assessments is through good teaching and learning all year long,” Slover added. “The PARCC states are making decisions about test design, including length and testing time, based on thorough review and on the data from the field tests.”

Slover’s statement was part of an announcement indicating that the states belonging to the PARCC consortium will reduce the number of passages and items in the English Language Arts/Literary End-of-Year test. PARCC said reducing the number of items included to measure some standards “reduces the amount of time spent on testing and lowers testing costs, while maintaining the quality of the assessments and their ability to inform instruction and to provide reliable information on the performance of all students.”

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Illinois Review-

by Joy Pullmann,

It’s poll season, and two annual education polls find most public attitudes about education policies are consistent with past years, but this year shows a sharp change on Common Core national education mandates. Now, finds the annual Pi Kappa Delta/Gallup poll, for the first time a majority of Americans–81 percent–has heard of Common Core. And 60 percent oppose it.

The annual Education Next survey out this week found support for Common Core at a bare majority, 53 percent, sharply down from 65 percent support last year. Its most significant finding, however, may be the 30-point drop in support for Common Core among teachers, from 76 percent last year to 46 percent this year. That’s huge. There’s almost been a near-quadrupling of opposition among teachers, from 12 to 40 percent.

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