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Signs of hope amid Smarter Balanced math scores

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

California’s Smarter Balanced math scores may look nearly identical to last year’s, but math educators said they saw at least one glimmer of hope: 3rd-graders. Third-graders’ relatively high scores on the statewide assessments, administered in the spring of 2017 and released last week, indicated that the Common Core standards — which those children have been learning since kindergarten — may be having a positive impact on math education.”(more)

Understanding the Common Core State Standards in California: A quick guide

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“Although the State Board of Education adopted new Common Core standards in math and English language arts nearly seven years ago, some school districts are still in the process of implementing them. Forty-one other states around the country have also adopted the standards, which were created to help U.S. students compete with high school graduates from around the world for 21st Century jobs.”(more)

Support for Common Standards Has Rebounded

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli

“The big news out of this year’s Education Next poll is the sharp decline in support for charter schools, even among Republicans, which is going to leave us wonks scratching our heads for months. But don’t miss the findings on what we used to call “standards-based reform.” Support for common standards has rebounded, with proponents outnumbering opponents three to one. And a strong plurality of Americans want states—and not the feds, and not local school boards—to set academic standards, determine whether a school is failing, and if so, determine how to fix it.”(more)

The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform

Education Next – Martin R. West, Michael B. Henderson, Paul E. Peterson and Samuel Barrows

“There’s no denying political climate change. The past 18 months have seen an enormous swing in the Washington power balance, a shift that has heightened the polarization that has characterized our public life for more than a decade now. How has this divisive political climate influenced public opinion on education policy and reform? And how much, if at all, has the new president swayed the public’s views? The 2017 Education Next survey, conducted in May and June of this year, offers us an opportunity to explore these questions and many more.”(more)

State ESSA plans opportunity for K-12, higher ed to develop STEM career pipeline

Education Dive – Shalina Chatlani

“Former federal accountability measures under No Child Left Behind, as well as Common Core standards derived from them, primarily emphasized reading and math, which left many schools pushing science education to the background. However, this created serious gaps in learning for students and a general lack of interest in science education overall. A recent survey from Lockheed Martin examining students’ interest in STEM found that only 38% of educators believed a majority of students seemed “naturally interested” in STEM subjects, and another 25% of those surveyed said current school curriculum is not properly preparing students for a STEM career.”(more)

California students go online in record numbers to take Common Core-aligned tests, with few glitches

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“Over the past several weeks, California students in record numbers have been taking once controversial standardized tests aligned with the Common Core. For the most part, the administration of the tests has gone smoothly, although some districts have experienced glitches as student test-takers pushed the state’s online system to the limit. At the peak of testing on May 9, nearly 500,000 students sat at desk tops, laptops and tablets to take the online tests. While some experienced delays, the testing volume reflected a statewide upgrading of school district computer equipment and Internet capabilities. By the end of the testing period in July, over 3 million students will have taken the Smarter Balanced tests.”(more)