Common Core’s Major Political Challenges for the Remainder of 2016

Common Core is now several years into implementation. Supporters have had a difficult time persuading skeptics that any positive results have occurred. The best evidence has been mixed on that question.

What We’re Watching: Reading and Math in the Common Core Era

On Monday, March 28, Brookings hosted an online discussion of a new report that looks at how deeply the Common Core standards have penetrated schools and classrooms. It focused on new research by Tom Loveless looking at the emphasis of non-fiction vs. fiction texts in reading and on enrollment in advanced courses in mathematics.

Can Higher Standards Survive?

Does the political will exist to maintain higher standards? And does the capacity exist in K–12 education to raise significant numbers of American children to meet these standards?

Behind the Headline: The Education Issue We Should Debate This Election Year: School Choice

In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley laments the fact that the only education issue getting any air time at all in the debates among presidential candidates has been the Common Core.

EdNext Podcast: Common Core is Encouraging States to Raise Their Standards

Amanda Olberg interviews Paul E. Peterson about the results of his new analysis of state academic standards. The study looks at how high states are setting the bar for student proficiency.

After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards

Forty-five states raise the student proficiency bar

The Top 10 Education Next Blog Entries of 2015

Each year we publish a list of the most popular entries on the Education Next blog. There’s usually a surprise or two and the 2015 list is no exception.

Losing the Ability to Compare Academic Performance Across States

The promise of the Common Core included not just multi-state standards but also multi-state assessments, but just 21 states are currently still participating in the two assessment “consortia.”

Common Core Not Dead Yet

Aided by a highly misleading New York Times article, the anti-Common Core crowd is pushing the narrative that Massachusetts’s recent testing decision spells the end for the common standards effort.

Has Common Core Influenced Instruction?

Advocates of the Common Core hope that the standards will eventually produce long term positive effects as educators learn how to use them. That’s a reasonable hypothesis. But it should now be apparent that a counter-hypothesis has equal standing: any positive effect of adopting Common Core may have already occurred.

EdNext Podcast: Which Test Better Predicts College Success, MCAS or PARCC?

Ira Nichols-Barrer and Brian Gill of Mathematica Policy Research sit down with Marty West to discuss an important testing decision faced by Massachusetts: whether to keep the MCAS assessment or switch to the PARCC assessment.

Nichols-Barrer and Gill, along with two other co-authors, are the authors of a new study that looks at which test better predicts college performance.

Should NAEP Tests Be Updated to Reflect What’s in the Common Core?

It’s critical that NAEP’s math (and reading and writing) frameworks not flex with recent changes in standards, curriculum or pedagogical emphasis.

Behind the Headline: Common Core Grade Inflation

On the Knowledge Bank blog, AEI’s Jenn Hatfield and Max Eden argue that Ohio’s decision to lower its cut score for proficiency on the PARCC test is more likely to make the state a trailblazer than an outlier.

Behind the Headline: State Faces Testing Showdown

Next month, education officials in Massachusetts will decide whether to abandon the state’s much-praised MCAS test and adopt the Common Core-aligned PARCC test.

So Far Only Ohio is Backing Off A High Standard for Proficiency

Outside of Ohio, most states are living up to their commitments to provide more honest information to parents. A key promise of the Common Core is being kept.

Do New Common Core Test Results Tell Us Anything New?

What do new assessments aligned to the Common Core tell us? Not much more than what we already knew.

Behind the Headline: Another State Redefines ‘Proficiency’ on Common Core Tests, Inflating Performance

The Arkansas Department of Education has announced that students who score at level 3 or above on new Common Core tests will be deemed “proficient,” even though the makers of the test say that only students who score at level 4 or above are on track to graduate from high school with the skills they need to be ready for college or a career.

The Real Battle for Common Core Begins

An examination of assignments given by middle school teachers appears to show that most of the work asked of students does not reflect the higher, more rigorous standards set by Common Core.

Politicians Couldn’t Agree on a “Common” Yardstick for Schools. Statisticians Created One Anyway.

SchoolGrades uses the results of state tests to create a comparable, A-F grading system for all public elementary and middle schools in the U.S.

The Common Core Test Wake-Up Call Is Here

Parents will soon receive for the first time their children’s scores on new tests aligned to the standards. The news is expected to be sobering.

EdNext Podcast: Is Support for the Common Core Dropping or Stabilizing?

Marty West and Paul E. Peterson discuss the public’s changing opinion of the Common Core.

Behind the Headline: How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge

While many people blame standardized testing for narrowing the elementary school curriculum to reading and math, the real culprit is “a longstanding pedagogical notion that the best way to teach kids reading comprehension is by giving them skills — strategies like “finding the main idea” — rather than instilling knowledge about things like the Civil War or human biology.” So writes Natalie Wexler in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Common Core’s Silent Majority

The public is still quietly backing Common Core by a margin of nearly 15 percentage points

Common Core: How Much Do People Know About Its Real Impact?

Are opinions about the Common Core driven by the public debate broadcast in the media or are they rooted in direct knowledge about what is happening in schools?

The 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform

Public thinking on testing, opt out, common core, unions, and more

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