Early political opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) appeared to mostly come from conservatives concerned about what they perceived as an increasing federal role in state education. A new report from the Brookings Institution shows how criticism has evolved to include the wider political spectrum when it became linked to other initiatives, like teacher reform, and when speed of implementation seemed to take precedence over other classroom concerns. “The evolving politics of the Common Core” by Ashley Jochim and Lesley Lavery theorizes that the growing opposition occurred because issues like evaluation, accountability, and privacy were ignored in the fervor over adopting the CCSS. Continue reading

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A new white paper, “Social and emotional development: The next school reform frontier,” from the Brookings Institute highlights inequality in K-12 academic development found in minority students and low-income, urban districts. Referring to the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) rewrite in Congress, the paper contends that part of new policy for NCLB should focus on the emotional and social development of students who routinely fall behind academically. The paper’s author writes that while there has been success in narrowing achievement gaps, there is research that suggests intervening in social and emotional skills can in turn boost academic skills. In relation to the Brookings paper, support by a number of large civil rights groups for NCLB testing also focuses on how this education policy can help students.  Continue reading

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The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) have published an open letter to the education community calling for changes to EdReports reviews of instructional materials for their alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). According to the letter, “the current ratings and reviews do not provide the types and quality of information needed to make informed choices about the extent to which particular materials support students’ learning, or teachers’ teaching, of CCSSM.” Continue reading

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The LearningCurve team from Marketplace has been studying the impact of technology on education, including how parents view the increased use of tech in the classroom and in school/parent communications. Conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide, overall the survey found that parents are positive towards technology for school, agreeing that it makes it easier for children to do their school work and learn at their own pace, and for parents to be involved in their education However, parents are divided on the impact of digital tools on critical thinking skills. Continue reading

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On the heels of the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Policy Board for Educational Administration asking for comments on the revised Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards for School Leaders (ISLL), EdFuel has released its competency maps for essential skills, knowledge, and relationships for leadership in education. EdFuel’s Blueprint for Success, which was developed in collaboration with the Broad Center, NewSchools Venture Fund, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, the Bridgespan Group and 40+ sector leaders, includes seven functional competency maps to show the knowledge, skills, and relationships necessary to manage school districts and networks. The initiative is in response to their own May 2015 leadership survey that showed 60% of non-instructional leaders — at all levels, across all types of organizations — are planning to leave their current organization in the next three years.  Continue reading

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