The Answer Sheet: Standards


Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/18/2014

Does Common Core’s focus on ‘close reading’ make sense?

Here’s an argument that it doesn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 01/15/2014

The kids aren’t all right — an infographic

A worldwide look.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 01/15/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:12 PM ET, 11/24/2013

More states delay Common Core testing as concerns grow

The pushback is getting stronger in Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana and other states.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:12 PM ET, 11/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 10/31/2013

A ridiculous Common Core test for first graders

Test uestion 1 on the first-grade test is based on the New York Common Core Standard, 1.OA4: Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. (Really.)

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:19 PM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:02 AM ET, 10/31/2013

Mom: My autistic son ‘is lost in a sea of standards’ at school

Her open letter starts, Dear ‘Is Anyone Listening?’

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:02 AM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 08/28/2013

The most ridiculous ed idea of the week (so far) -- update

It's about the Common Core State Standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:01 AM ET, 08/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 08/21/2013

How Common Core Standards will succeed -- even if they don't

What, exactly, is the meaning of success when it comes to the Common Core?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:01 AM ET, 08/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:02 AM ET, 07/23/2013

How Common Core could affect every state -- even those that reject it

Some students in every state will take high-stakes tests that are aligned to the Core.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:02 AM ET, 07/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 06/26/2013

Maryland adopts Next Generation Science Standards

The standards are said to be a great leap in science education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:01 AM ET, 06/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:59 PM ET, 06/18/2013

Education Department listens to (some) reason

Education Secretary Arne Duncan gives an extra year for implementation of new teacher evaluations linked to Common Core tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:59 PM ET, 06/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 06/12/2013

Study: Math requirements not aligned with Common Core in many states

A new study says most states have not aligned their math high school graduation requirements or course of study with the Common Core Standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:02 PM ET, 06/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:23 PM ET, 06/06/2013

Common Core supporters back moratorium on new tests' high stakes

Major education organizations say teachers and students aren't ready.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:23 PM ET, 06/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013

A critique of how DCPS is implementing Common Core (update)

The problem, the author says, is not with any one standard or assessment stem—it's with a checklist mentality.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 06/05/2013

Is it really this easy to block the Common Core?

Trying to openly oppose the Common Core by amending state code is extremely difficult. Cutting the legs out from under it in the budget does not appear to be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 06/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 06/02/2013

Common Core: Assessing the real level of support

Why a claiming that a majority support, believe, or conform to X, Y, or Z is shaky claim at best, and a likely flawed one at worst.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:31 PM ET, 06/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 05/13/2013

Indiana halts Common Core implementation

Indiana is postponing implementation of the Common Core initiative so that there can be more discussion on the quality and impact of the standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:13 PM ET, 05/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:43 AM ET, 05/12/2013

Gates gives $150 million in grants for Common Core Standards

For a supposedly public initiative, the Common Core States Initiative has benefited enormously from the generosity of Bill and Melinda Gates.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:43 AM ET, 05/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 05/01/2013

Extreme Common Core rhetoric clouds serious debate -- update

There's a lot of extreme talk about Common Core being voiced, and it's a problem because it it is clouding serious-minded criticism about the standards initiative and its implementation.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 05/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:09 AM ET, 04/30/2013

AFT's Weingarten urges moratorium on high stakes linked to Common Core tests

AFT president Randi Weingarten says high-stakes tests are unfairly being given to students before teachers have had time to properly absorb and create curriculum around the Common Core standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:09 AM ET, 04/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:17 AM ET, 04/27/2013

And now, Girl Scout badges aligned to Common Core standards

There's nothing, it seems, in this school reform era that you can't align with standards -- even Girl Scout badges.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:17 AM ET, 04/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 04/24/2013

Is the Common Core Standards initiative in trouble?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 04/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 04/21/2013

The basic business principles school reformers ignore

How the Common Core State Standards initiative violates basic business principles

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 04/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 04/19/2013

Common Core Standards attacked by Republicans

Will new Republican efforts against on the Common Core State Standards destroy the bipartisanship that got them approved in more than 45 states?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 04/19/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:47 PM ET, 04/07/2013

Principal warns parents: 'Don't buy the bunk' about new Common Core tests

Parents will soon be told whether their children are "on the road" to college readiness based on cut scores on tests of the new Common Core standards. But there is no evidence the scores will have any meaning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:47 PM ET, 04/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 04/02/2013

Why Common Core tests won't be what Arne Duncan promised

How much better will the next generation of standardized tests, aligned to the Common Core standards, really be?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:32 PM ET, 04/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 03/20/2013

Common Core supporter: 'I see the opportunity being squandered'

A strong supporter of the Common Core says the implementation of the initiative is in trouble.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:01 PM ET, 03/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 02/13/2013

Former education commissioner blasts Common Core process -- update

A year after rocking the ed world by blasting standardized testing, Robert Scott, the former ed commissioner of Texas, now goes after the Common Core State Standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:45 AM ET, 02/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 01/17/2013

New questions on the Common Core Standards

Here is the third post in a debate between Yong Zhao and Marc Tucker about the Common Core State Standards. In this installment, Yong Zhao takes on Tucker's support of the standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:15 AM ET, 01/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Testing the Common Core Standards

A veteran of the standardized testing industry sets out to discover whether the Common Core Standards are "revolutionary" or whether they look a lot like standards states already have. Here's his report.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2010

The lowdown on standardized tests and how they are scored

If you think machines score all of the standardized tests kids take, guess again. Rather, an army of low-paid, poorly trained temps score them. Test scorers tell the tale.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/09/2010

Kohn: Remember when we had higher standards? Neither do I

When, Alfie Kohn asks, haven't we been complaining about low standards in public schools and calling for accountability? The answer: Apparently, never. A golden period never existed.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 12/05/2010

When teachers are their own worst enemies

An educator/author argues that teachers, however unwittingly, helped create the accountability movement that is now "choking" them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:52 PM ET, 12/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010

Montgomery County admits kids were pushed too hard in math

The highly regarded Montgomery County Public Schools now admits that it has been pushing too many kids into accelerated math when they weren't ready and will stop it. A lot of parents are going to lose bragging rights at cocktail parties.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/15/2010

Are we still capable of educating for 'us-ness?'

Educator Marion Brady writes: Maintaining a viable democracy requires an educated citizenry willing, able, even eager, to talk about matters like these, matters having to do with who we are as a people, why we do the things we do, and where we’re headed. Those conversations require at least some understanding of the past, national character, economics, politics, government, science, religion, and so on-intellectual tools that allow us to trace the trends of our era, the curves of history, the causes and consequences of change. Those were the kinds of conversations thoughtful educators used to try to encourage ... Now, not so much."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010

What Americans really think about public schools

In an era of unrelenting bashing of public education by “experts,” a new poll shows that most Americans actually like their neighborhood public schools -- though they don’t seem to like public schools in general -- and they have trust in teachers. And the Obama administration’s education agenda gets mixed reviews in the 2010 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/16/2010

Are Texas's social studies standards really so bad?

Texas has now officially adopted highly controversial new social studies standards. Here's a different view of the standards and the process by which they were approved.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:51 PM ET, 09/15/2010

Texas considers how Islam is portrayed in textbooks

The Texas Board of Education finally adopted its social studies standards a few weeks ago, seeming to put an end to the a huge controversy that erupted when critics accused religious fundamentalists of rewriting American history. Now, apparently, it is taking up a new issue: How students should learn about Islam.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:51 PM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/15/2010

Mass personalization: Is this good for education?

The principle of “mass personalization” is straightforward: by gathering data on individual customers, a company can target its advertising. What would “mass personalization” look like in education?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/13/2010

Obama ed policy lacks scientific support -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham calls into question President Obama's judgment on the administration's education policy, saying that it has no scientific support.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 08/20/2010

Where’s the rigor in U.S. schools?

The release of new ACT results shows that much of what U.S. schools offer is “rigorous” in name only.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 08/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/16/2010

Willingham: Can reformers control their own reforms?

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, looking at Paul Peterson's book "Saving Schools," writes about education reformers and the problem they have historically encountered in keeping control of the reforms they launch. How this pattern will affect the Common Core standards is a big question, he says.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 08/11/2010

The problem with ‘Race to the Top’ is the race

Diana Senechal writes that President Obama is correct when he says we need to shake things up to improve the schools. The problem is that we are shaking up the wrong things.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 08/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/09/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from Common Core standards (Part 3)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about taking the educational equivalent of the moon shot.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from Common Core standards plan (Part 2)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asks: "If the educational system has so many interacting parts, how can we ever know whether a change we make to part of the system is useful?" Then he answers it, two ways.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/26/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from national standards plan (Part 1)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham analyzes whether the Common Core standards for math and English language arts are likely to improve schooling over the next decade.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:25 AM ET, 07/21/2010

Primer for ed reformers (or, it’s the curriculum, stupid!)

A curriculum expert says school reformers are ignoring this truth: "I say the familiar “core curriculum” in use in America’s schools and colleges is a problem-plagued, dysfunctional,19th Century relic that fits the 21st Century about as well as the first Model T Ford fits into I-75 traffic." And here's how to fix it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:25 AM ET, 07/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 06/07/2010

Will new standards mean better-educated kids? -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the final version of the Common Core standards for math and English Language Arts and analyzes their likely impact on learning over the next decade. Will students be better educated? From a quick read the standards look pretty good, but most would agree that high-quality standards are necessary but not sufficient for positive impact.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 06/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/24/2010

Bad standards: Not just in Texas

Texas isn’t the only place with lousy social studies standards, though you might be forgiven for thinking so considering all the attention that Texas Board of Education has received in recent months as it adopted a new set of standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 05/22/2010

California bill takes aim at new Texas standards

A bill introduced in California seeks to protect the country’s largest school system from the Texas Board of Education and its new social studies standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:56 AM ET, 05/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/21/2010

The worst Texas social studies standard?

I’ve been reading the social studies standards in Texas as well as the many proposed changes being pushed by religious conservatives on the Board of Education, and playing an entirely subjective game: Which is the most egregious twisting of history?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 05/13/2010

Did Texas school board abuse its power?

With the Texas State Board of Education getting ready to adopt controversial new social studies standards, a new report accuses the panel of abusing its power and asks the state Legislature to intervene. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of...

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:23 PM ET, 05/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 05/12/2010

Goodlad: How to help our schools -- Part 3

Influential educator John Goodlad completes a three-part series on how to fix our schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:45 AM ET, 05/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/06/2010

Harvard study gives Race to Top winners bad grades on academic standards

One of the two states chosen by Education Secretary Arne Duncan as a winner in the first round of the $4 billion Race to the Top competition has academic standards that earned the grade of ‘F’ in a new study by Harvard University researchers, while the other state got a ‘C minus.’

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:15 AM ET, 04/30/2010

Are ed reformers ignoring American values?

By Marion Brady. Perhaps most curious of all is the present education reform effort’s disregard for deep-seated American values. With the possible exception of Australia, no other country matches America in professed admiration for the non-standard person....Why, then, is there near-universal enthusiasm for national standards?

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:15 AM ET, 04/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/07/2010

Texas did not really rewrite history--Sewall

The director of the independent American Textbook Council says that the reports that came out of Texas about conservative changes to the social studies curriculum are wrong.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/06/2010

E.D. Hirsch Jr.: Common Core Standards could revolutionize reading instruction

By E.D. Hirsch, Jr. The Common Core Standards represent a fundamental and long overdue rethinking of the dominant process-approach to U.S. literacy instruction. To appreciate what a radical transformation it represents, one needs to understand how children are now schooled in literacy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 03/17/2010

Texas and its history mess--deja vu all over again

Texas is under scrutiny for silly and historically inaccurate revisions that its state board of education made to its American history curriculum. But it's not the first time Texas has been in a mess with its history textbooks.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:20 AM ET, 03/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/10/2010

The problem(s) with the Common Core standards

Wanting kids around the country to know the same important skills and concepts makes sense. But there are problems with the national Common Core Standards in math and English that are being released today

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/17/2009

BRADY: When captains of business and industry ‘hijacked’ education--and teachers let them

By Marion Brady. "We have met the enemy, and he is us," said Pogo. We educators should make the wise little opossum from Walt Kelly’s comic strip our mascot. The single worst shoot-yourself-in-the-foot act that contributed to our loss of control of education reform happened about 20 years ago. That’s when leaders of business and industry, convinced that educators either didn’t know enough or didn’t care enough about educating the young to be trusted, hijacked our profession. And we let them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009

Willingham: Is School About Learning or About Grades?

By Daniel Willingham. I have always told my children that school is not about grades, it’s about learning. I tell them that they shouldn’t compare themselves to other kids but should just mark their own progress in learning. I’m starting to rethink what I tell them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009

Willingham: What Should Students Be Required to Read?

What should students be required to read? ... It is not controversial to specify desirable knowledge in other subjects. In science, for example, we expect that students will acquire certain skills-- methods of scientific analysis--but we also believe that there is a body of scientific knowledge that students will learn. The same is true of history and mathematics. What makes literature different? Why don’t standards specify what students ought to read?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009

Willingham: Reading Is Not a Skill--And Why This Is a Problem for the Draft National Standards

A draft of voluntary national standards for reading was just released, and at first glance the 18 standards sound quite sensible: students should be able to determine what a text says, make inferences from it, discern the most important ideas, and so forth. Many of the standards boil down to this notion: "The student will be able to comprehend the text.” For the others, comprehension is a prerequisite. The problem is that teachers and administrators are likely to read those 18 standards and to try to teach to them. But reading comprehension is not a “skill” that can be taught directly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/22/2009

CHECKING IT OUT: The Push for National Standards--and Why You Should Care

The new release of a draft of national standards for math and language arts brings into sharp focus an effort to reform public education--based on the notion that all Americans should have the same basic foundation of knowledge and skills. The impetus behind national standards is understandable, but the bottom line is that Americans don't all have the same educational needs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)