Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Today's COMMON CORE Stories:

ED Denies Blue Ribbon Awards To New York Schools For High Opt-Out Rates Generating Controversy.

Newsday (NY) (9/2, Hildebrand) reports ED denied Blue Ribbon awards to 11 schools in New York because of the high number of students that opted out of taking standardized testing. Some school officials criticized the decision, “It’s a shame that the basing it on a narrow test score,” said a school board trustee who oversees one of the schools denied an award. Steve Sigmund, the executive director of nonprofit High Achievement New York that supports Common Core standards, praised the decision. Sigmund said that a school thinking they can get award for their test results when so many of their students did not take the test “is just not realistic.”

New York State Official: Students Have Right To Opt Out Of Common Core Testing.

The Albany (NY) Business Review (9/1, Roiter, Subscription Publication) reports that, according to WAMC, New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia said students will be able to opt out of Common Core testing, though she hopes that parents will “have their children take the tests again in the future.” The Business Review reports that “the number of students in grades third through eighth opting out of the rest quadrupled to 20 percent” last year, but Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch has said that “the state will not be taking money from districts” over the higher opt-out rates.

Op-Ed: Oregon’s Smarter Balanced Test Is An Improvement.

In an op-ed for the Oregonian (9/2), Sue Levin, the current board chair of Stand for Children Oregon, writes in support of the state’s Smarter Balanced tests, which according to the Beaverton School District “give a better measure of college readiness” than the previous test, the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS). Levin says, “I now have confidence that my daughter is mastering appropriate grade-level skills,” but asserts that the Smarter Balanced assessment must be carried out “in a smarter, more time-efficient way.”

American Enterprise Institute Scholar Discusses Common Core.

The Wall Street Journal (9/2, Subscription Publication) editorial board member Mary Kissel discusses the political debate over Common Core testing with American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Rick Hess, who explains how the assessment is intended to work. Hess also touches on some of the controversial aspects of the testing.

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