Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Common Core

Louisiana Test Scores Released To Mixed Reactions.

The Monroe (LA) News Star (10/13, Guidry) reports Louisiana test scores remained similar to past years. Between 30 and 40% of students scored “mastery or above” on the state tests. Superintendent John White said he was not surprised by the results.
        The AP (10/13, McGill) adds that the tests were more challenging this year, which may have caused a greater divergence in test scores with more students failing to earn “basic” proficiency and more students earning “mastery.” White hypothesized that the harder tests were better at identifying stronger and weaker students. The test scores will be carefully evaluated by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday. Superintendent White is urging the board to adopt a scoring system that will allow Louisiana to compare its performance with other states.
        Louisiana State Representative Says Test Scores Show Common Core Needs To Be Rejected. The Bayou Buzz (LA) (10/13) reports Louisiana state representative Brett Geymann said the state’s Common Core test results will show the standards should be repealed by the state. Geymann said, “The results show this five-year experiment is not working.”

South Carolina Near Replacing Common Core With New, Similar Standards.

The Myrtle Beach (SC) Online (10/13, Adcox) reports the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee voted 11-1 to replace Common Core with new math and reading standards allowing the state BOE to make the final authorization for the change on Wednesday. The state legislature voted last year in favor of replacing Common Core. The new standards approved by the Education Oversight Committee are 90% identical to Common Core, but add instruction on money, multiplication tables, and cursive writing.

Common Core Is Here To Stay.

Politico (10/13, Hefling) says that “Common Core has won the war.” The article highlights that almost 80% of public school students are being taught Common Core standards and that despite many threats by states to repeal the standards, even the states that have followed through have all ended up adopting new standards that “are just the same standards by a different name.” Melinda Gates recently commented on the efforts by some states to repeal the standards, “The few states that have rolled it back, when you look at what they’ve actually done, the standards they are using are 95% the Core standards. It’s what we know needs to be taught.”

Arkansas Lowers Standard For “Proficiency” On Common Core Tests.

The Washington Post (10/13, Brown) reports Arkansas revised the minimum score necessary to be considering “proficient” on their state’s Common Core tests. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers defines proficient as scoring 4 or higher out of 5 on the test, but Arkansas, following the example of Ohio, has revised their state policy so that a 3 out of 5 is considered proficient. The change will inflate Arkansas’ reported performance by inflating the percentage of students who are considered proficient compared to other states. For example, the number of students considered proficient in Algebra I has now increased from 28% to 60%.

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