Common Core

Understanding the Common Core: Resources from AR Ally

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. To say they're contentious is to put it mildly. Admist a nationwide backlash, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a member of the Arkansas OTL Campaign, has released a short guide for parents to answer some of the biggest questions about the Common Core and its impact on their children's schools.

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. To say they're contentious is to put it mildly. For various reasons, a nationwide backlash has taken hold and some states are reconsidering the standards.

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What Does the Drop in NYC Test Scores Really Show Us?

By Michael Holzman, Schott Foundation

No student learns well in places where resources are systematically diverted from where they are needed to places where wealthier families live. The results of the Common Core-aligned 2013 New York State tests of students paint a stark picture of systemic inequality in access to education resources and opportunities.

The results of the 2013 New York State tests of students in grades 3-8 have been greeted with consternation, as they should be, but it should be emphasized that they paint a picture of a system—especially that part administered by the New York City Department of Education—that is far gone in failure. This is simply the most recent indication of that failure and the Department’s lack of attention to its responsibilities.

Will You Join the Supports-Based Education Movement?

Joe Bishop, National Opportunity to Learn Campaign

District, state and federal policies have focused primarily on efforts to raise standards, improve assessments, and evaluate teachers. While each of these issues warrants attention in the landscape of education policy, they are not effective drivers for significantly changing the learning conditions for students across the country.

Last week, New York education officials released scores from the first Common Core-aligned standardized state tests. Student scores showed a dramatic drop in performance from previous years. Statewide, just 31.1 percent of students tested proficient in English Language Arts, and 31 percent tested proficient in math.

Failing to the Top: How Students Are Being Set Up to Fail

By Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network

As new Common Core-aligned tests roll out in the states and student scores plummet under the higher standards, it's worth pointing out how students are set up to fail by education policies that establish standards without providing the resources and opportunities students need to meet them.

I have this recurring nightmare – one that, I fear, is about to become reality for most of America’s school children.

In my dream, I’m back in elementary school. It’s testing day and I’m struggling to remember my locker combination and get to class on time. My backpack implausibly opens and spills its contents into the hallway. Indifferent schoolmates rush by.

NY Allies React to Test Score Drop: "Proves We Need Supports, Not Just Standards"

After the release of New York's test scores from the first Common-Core aligned state test, advocates and organizers are taking officials to task for implementing the new standards without also ensuring schools and students have the resources they need to meet those standards. The problem for many OTL allies isn't the achievement gap, it's the continually unaddressed opportunity gap that creates it.

This week New York education officials released the scores from the first Common Core-aligned standardized state tests. The scores dropped dramatically from previous years, the result of the standards being higher and the test being harder. Statewide, just 31.1 percent of students tested proficient in English Language Arts, and 31 percent tested proficient in math.

Messages About Public Education That Don't Sell Well (and Ones That Will)

By Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network

We need to do a better job of selling public education as an institution worth defending. In particular, here are five messages about public education we should stop using because they don't sell well. 

[The following is from a talk given at a meeting of the Young Elected Officials last week in Washington, D.C. This post originally appeared on Education Opportunity Network.]

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