Common Core in the Schools: A First Look at Reading Assignments

Common Core standards expect English language arts teachers to do things very differently than they have in the past. Will that really happen?

By Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Kathleen Porter-Magee    Blog, Editorial, Standards, Testing, and Accountability  

Trends and Possible Improvements in School Quality Rating Systems

A new report reviews 25 different systems for rating school quality.

Some Perspective on Common Core

I am not against having better learning standards, but I also believe that we cannot be distracted from more fundamental reform of our schools.

President Obama’s Not-So-Secret School Accountability Plan

Way back in March of 2010, President Obama released his blueprint for reauthorizing NCLB. Three years later, we’re still operating as if the blueprint never happened, as if three years of policymaking hasn’t happened.

Let’s Hear It For Proficiency

Kids can show plenty of “growth” in school but still not be ready for college because they aren’t actually proficient. This is why absolute levels matter and why schools should be judged in part by how many of the students emerging from them are truly college and career ready.

Why the ‘Opt-Out’ is Not a Cop-Out

States should allow a small group of schools to opt out of regular testing and accountability requirements and let these schools use an alternative set of metrics instead.

What We’re Watching: Opt-Out or Cop Out?

Fordham hosted a forum on the growing numbers of parents, educators and administrators calling for a local “opt-out” from state testing systems.

Chicken Little Goes to School

The Common Core sky is not falling. Rather, the Common Core is right sizing.

That’s How the Consortia Crumble

On Monday, PARCC released the cost of its tests—and right on cue, another state, Georgia, dropped out of the testing consortia. This is a disaster.

What We’re Watching: Georgia Sets the Bar Lowest

WSB-TV Action News in Atlanta on an Ed Next study that ranks states on where they set the bar for student proficiency.

Implementation, Implementation, Assessment, Assessment

For the Common Core standards really to take root and blossom, every state that claims to follow them faces a mammoth implementation challenge.

Common Core State Standards: Do You Need To Be Proficient In Order To Be Proficient?

Too many people ignore international comparisons and set low expectations for U.S. students and their schools.

Despite Common Core, States Still Lack Common Standards

Students proficient on state tests but not national

Students proficient on state tests but not national

A Playbook for the Common Core'ites: Part 2

Five suggestions that can help Common Core advocates get their popular and political fortunes back on track

A Playbook for the Common Core'ites: Part I

I”ve long said that the Common Core strikes me as an intriguing effort that could do much good. The past couple weeks, I”ve been struck by how fragile the effort is starting to seem and how clumsily the Common Core”ites seem to be responding to challenges. In the spirit of public service, here”s some advice.

The Common Core Conflation Syndrome: Standards & Curriculum

There is no Common Core curriculum, radical or otherwise.

Poor Children Need a Hand Up, Not Hospice

Does the progressive vision of schooling work to help poor children gain the skills and knowledge and confidence and connections that will allow them to climb the ladder into the middle class?

Am I a Part of the Cure … or the Disease?

Will testing and accountability make matters worse? No, they will make matters marginally better.

Conservatives and the Common Core

When a group of state leaders, many of them Republicans, can come together to set expectations for the curricular core that surpass what most of them set on their own, conservatives ought to applaud, not lash out

Will the Assessment Consortia Wither Away?

If ACT and College Board scarf up much state business, there won’t be a lot left for the consortia.

The Right Response to the Atlanta Cheating Scandal

The burden rests on those who want to eliminate testing and accountability to provide assurance that the system won’t revert back to its bad old ways.

The Truth about Common Core

Why are prominent conservatives criticizing a set of rigorous educational standards?

By Guest Bloggers Kathleen Porter-Magee and Sol Stern    Blog, Editorial, Standards, Testing, and Accountability  

What We’re Watching: StudentsFirst’s 2013 State Policy Report Card

Eric Smith, Tom Luna, Ulrich Boser and Rick Hess discuss the grades given to the 50 states by StudentsFirst in its state policy report card.

Can Bad Schools Be Good For Neighborhoods?

Might there be compelling civic or social reasons for keeping open persistently failing or unsafe inner-city schools?

The Common Core Implementation Gap

A new report on state-level implementation of Common Core merits some attention—but less for its top-line findings and more for how it confirms what I’m now calling the “Common Core Implementation Gap.”

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The Hoover Institution at Stanford University - Ideas Defining a Free Society

Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance

Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform

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