Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Common Core - May 15, 2013

Common Core Political Battles Heating Up.

Andrew Ujifusa writes at the Education Week (5/15) "State EdWatch" blog about the "political battle over the Common Core State Standards," noting that "some supporters of the standards appear to be taking notice that the ride may get very bumpy, at least politically." According to education consultant Andrew Rotherham, "common-core advocates who issued simple dismissals of concerns or criticisms about the standards' path ahead were exhibiting a disconcerting 'view from the Green Zone.'" Meanwhile, Common Core opponents "are smelling blood in the water and are trying various methods to diversify their portfolio of attacks."

Pennsylvania Democrats Protest Unfunded Common Core Implementation.

The Allentown (PA) Morning Call (5/13, Esack) reports on the preparations for implementing the Common Core Standards in Pennsylvania over the past three years, and notes that some Common Core-aligned testing has already begun in the state. However, the piece questions whether the standards and assessments are likely to remain, noting that on Monday, American Federation of Teachers members and Democrats in the state Senate "called on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and the Department of Education to" stop implementing the Common Core Standards and to end a requirement that students pass the related assessments to graduate. The opponents said that the standards and tests "are causing too much angst for students, parents and educators and are too costly to implement because Republican Corbett has cut education funding."
Pennsylvania Senate Hearing Likely To Focus On Common Core Options.The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News (5/15, Murphy) explains that Pennsylvania has adopted a "customized" version of the Common Core Standards, and notes that the state has the option to adhere to its own version, revert to the basic Common Core Standards, or follow Indiana's lead by taking "actions to apply the brakes so more discussion about whether to proceed with this initiative can take place." The article notes that there will be a state Senate Education Committee hearing on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

Critics Lambaste Common Core At Kansas BOE Meeting.

The AP (5/14) reports that Common Core critics urged the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday to reconsider adopting the standards, spending "nearly two hours criticizing the standards during a public comment session that opened the board's two-day monthly meeting." Former board member Walt Chappell "said Kansas was 'sucked in' by proponents of the standards" and argued that they are ultimately controlled by ED. Opponents argued that the "standards would stifle creativity and lead to more federal intrusion in the classroom through data collection." Supporters "said the standards would improve academic rigor."

Dropping Common Core Could Jeopardize States' Waivers, RTTT Funding.

Education Week (5/15, McNeil) reports that states considering dropping out of the Common Core Standards must consider that the move "could jeopardize federal waivers and competitive grants," noting that many states that won Race to the Top grants or obtained NCLB waivers did so in part by promising to "adopt and implement college- and career-readiness standards, and tie appropriate tests to them." The piece notes that the Common Core "is not required, but it's the most direct route to satisfying the requirement-and the one most states are taking." The article cites Indiana, which vowed to adopt the Common Core and aligned assessments before its waiver was granted.

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