Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Education Week Explores Common Core’s Impact On Teacher PD.

Education Week (9/29) runs a package of stories under the headline “Teacher PD in the Common-Core Era,” focusing on the impact that the Common Core Standards and the push to “personalize learning opportunities for teachers.” Topics include a story about efforts to personalize teacher PD in Long Beach, California (9/30); a program that uses mathematical modeling (9/30)to teach “small groups of elementary teachers in three states to teach a math skill that’s typically been reserved for high school and college students;” an examination of teachers’ questioning techniques (9/30)to foster critical thinking skills; intellectual property rights concerns surrounding lesson-sharing websites for teachers (9/30); the increasing use of video to improve teachers’ instructional methods (9/30);teachers’ use of Twitter to disseminate knowledge (9/30); and the grooming of teacher leaders in Washington, DC(9/30).
        New York Governor Launches Common Core Review Panel. The AP (9/29) reports that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named the members of a “panel of educators, lawmakers and parents to review the Common Core” standards and aligned testing, noting that he “has been critical of the state’s rollout of the standards and earlier this month promised a review and changes.” Richard Parsons, a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners, will lead the 15-member Common Core Task Force.
        The New York Daily News (9/29, Blain) reports that Cuomo said that the task force is directed to “undertake a ‘total reboot’ of the Common Core standards,” and notes that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will serve on the panel.
        Newsday (NY) (9/29) reports that while Cuomo “called for fewer standardized exams,” but “gave no sign of rolling back his controversial initiative to tie test scores to school closings and teacher evaluations.” Cuomo said that the panel “would conduct a ‘top to bottom review’ of the state’s academic standards, curriculum and exams.”
        Writers Criticize Cuomo For Succumbing To Anti-Common Core Pressures. In commentary in Newsday (NY)(9/29), Michael J. Petrilli and Robert Pondiscio of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute criticize Cuomo for “seeking to ride the wave” of populism generated by presidential campaign rhetoric “by standing with parents against Common Core standards.” The writers suggest that the Common Core is incompatible with Cuomo’s “pet reform: test-based teacher evaluations,” and pan him for not availing himself of Federal flexibility in implementing teacher accountability systems.

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