U.S. Teachers Offer Split Decision on Common Core #stopcommoncore #ccss

Gallop -

PRINCETON, NJ — In a new Gallup survey of teachers, U.S. public school teachers are closely split in their overall reaction to the Common Core State Standards: 41% view the program positively and 44% negatively. Even in terms of strong reactions, teachers’ attitudes are divided, with 15% saying their perceptions of the initiative are “very positive” and 16% saying “very negative.”

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Parents Now Evenly Split On Common Core #stopcommoncore #ccss

Daily Caller -

A new Gallup poll indicates that parents of public school children are closely divided on the merits of Common Core, while opinions on the multistate education standards are increasingly dividing along partisan lines.

In a survey limited to parents with at least one child in the public K-12 school system, Gallup found that 33 percent of parents have a somewhat or very positive attitude towards Common Core, while 35 percent of parents have a somewhat or very negative attitude. Another 32 percent have no opinion or are not familiar with the standards.

That’s a shift from just six months ago, when 35 percent of parents had a positive view of Common Core and 28 percent had a negative one.

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Civil Rights Groups to Obama: Drop Test-Based Accountability System #stopcommoncore #ccss

Truth in American Education -

Eleven civil rights groups sent a letter on Tuesday urging President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Congressional and State educational leaders to drop the test-based K-12 accountability system.  They join a chorus of parents who are speaking out against the high-stakes testing culture.  Here is the text of the letter.

President Obama, Secretary Duncan, Congressional and State Educational Leaders:

On behalf of millions of students and families, and civil rights organizations, communities of color, and organizations that reflect the new, diverse majority in public education, we write urging implementation of a set of strong recommendations for advancing opportunity and supporting school integration, equity, and improved accountability within our nation’s systems of public education.

We believe that improved accountability systems at the local, state, and federal levels are central to advancing and broadening equal educational opportunity for each and every child in America. The current educational accountability system has become overly focused on narrow measures of success and, in some cases, has discouraged schools from providing a rich curriculum for all students focused on the 21st century skills they need to acquire. This particularly impacts under-resourced schools that disproportionately serve low-income students and students of color. In our highly inequitable system of education, accountability is not currently designed to ensure students will experience diverse and integrated classrooms with the necessary resources for learning and support for excellent teaching in all schools. It is time to end the advancement of policies and ideas that largely omit the critical supports and services necessary for children and families to access equal educational opportunity in diverse settings and to promote positive educational outcomes.

The demand for our schools to meet new college-and-career-ready standards is happening in the wake of a record number of children living in poverty and an increasingly diverse student population. Students of color represent more than 50 percent of youth and are more than twice as likely to attend segregated schools. Second language learners whose first language is not English now represent 10 percent of all public school students nationwide, and students living in poverty represent virtually half of all US public school students.[1] [2]

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Common Core revolt goes local #stopcommoncore #ccss


Politico -

School districts from New Hampshire to Oregon are revolting against the coming Common Core tests.

Even as political leaders in both red and blue states continue to back away from the standards — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the latest example — the hottest battles have shifted to the local level, where education officials are staging public revolts against state and federal mandates to administer Common Core exams.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett this week announced she did not want students in the nation’s third-largest district to take the federally funded PARCC exam, which will debut next spring in 11 states, including Illinois.

Byrd-Bennett called the test “unproven” and said adding such a long exam to a year already crammed with standardized tests would be overwhelming to students, teachers and principals. The PARCC test takes nine to 11 hours, depending on a student’s grade level.

Her defiance was striking in a district that has long been viewed as a national leader in test-based accountability. It was also rich in symbolism because Chicago public schools were once run by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a huge cheerleader for both the Common Core and the new exams, developed with $370 million in federal funds.
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CPS asks feds for delay on new standardized test #stopcommoncore #ccss

Chicago Tribune -

Ch”At present, too many questions remain about PARCC to know how this new test provides more for teachers, students, parents and principals than we are already providing through our current assessment strategies,” Byrd-Bennett said.icago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Wednesday that she’ll ask the federal government to delay the rollout of a new and controversial state exam for grade school students this spring.

Byrd-Bennett told school board members that fully implementing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test is “unwarranted,” and that she will instead talk to the U.S. Department of Education about expanding a limited pilot program for the test.

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Springfield IL School Board Candidate Defends Common Core Despite Concerns

WMAY News -

A candidate for Springfield school board says Common Core is good for students… but it may problematic for parents.

Nicole Evans is seeking the seat being vacated by Scott McFarland… who is running for the Springfield City Council.  She says the controversial Common Core standards are reason-based and will help kids be competitive in the global economy.  But she says it represents a big change in the teaching strategies their parents grew up with.

She vows if elected to look for ways to help parents be more engaged and better-equipped to assist their students with homework.



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Common Core Tests Tied to Graduation in Some States #stopcommoncore #ccss

Note:  The Illinois School Code state that beginning no later than 2017-18, Illinois students who are not assessed for ‘college and career readiness’ (a.k.a. common core) will not receive a H.S. diploma.

Christian Science Monitor -

States trying to give teeth to the Common Core by tying new tests to graduation requirements are bumping up against resistance.

Forty-three states are currently signed on to the Common Core State Standards, a voluntary system designed to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for college. New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington are among a smaller number starting to link graduation requirements to the new and more challenging Common Core testing systems.

For supporters, the moves are a natural part of the transition from the adoption phase of Common Core to actually implementing the standards in a meaningful way. But an array of critics say the process is moving way too fast.

New Jersey is planning to roll out its tests before it has even decided what the passing scores will be – essentially experimenting with the first students who take it. Meanwhile, Maryland is planning to divide its test results into two tiers, a move that critics say waters down the essential purpose of Common Core.

In all, 24 states currently have “exit exams” that students have to pass to get their high school diploma (though alternatives are available for certain situations). At least 10 states may use new Common Core tests in the coming years for graduation requirements, according to a report by New America, a public policy foundation in Washington.

The challenges being encountered by New Jersey, Maryland, and others point to potential speed bumps along the way.

“Common Core tests are not ready for prime time,” says Robert Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing in Boston.


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