Leading Change newsletter now includes expanded Common Core update
Welcome to EdSource’s new Common Core update web page, which is being produced in conjunction with our updated ‘Leading Change’ newsletter. The newsletter now has an expanded focus: the range of new California academic standards — from the Common Core standards in English language arts and math, to the Next Generation Science Standards and the history-social science standards — as well as how schools will be held accountable for measuring their progress on them.
We will update our website often with relevant news, interviews, events and opportunities to participate in online #EdSourceChats. You can also engage us via Twitter.
We’d also like to hear your ideas and strategies for implementing California academic standards that we can share with others in the field. And please share this link to our Common Core web page with your friends and colleagues.
Thanks for reading!
New California School Dashboard
The California Department of Education and other organizations have created several resources to help educators and the public understand and navigate the new California School Dashboard, which includes data that will be used for school and district accountability purposes beginning next fall.
These resources include:
- California Department of Education Communications Toolkit.
- Alameda County Office of Education Dashboard website, including video and infographics.
- Ed100 Dashboard explanatory blog.
- EdSource searchable database with “comparisons clipboard.”
EdReports Curriculum Reviews
The nonprofit organization EdReports, which reviews curriculum materials based on their alignment to Common Core standards in math and English language arts, recently released six new reports, including two for math and four for English language arts instruction. The reports include color-coded ratings that show whether or not materials are aligned to the standards. Green signifies they are aligned, yellow shows partial alignment and red designates lack of alignment. If materials are at least partially aligned, EdReports reviewers also rate the usability of the materials for students and teachers using the same color-coded system.
The new reports review:
- Big Ideas Math 6-8 by Big Ideas Learning, LLC
- Integrated Math HS by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Core Knowledge Language Arts 3-5 by Amplify
- Journeys (2017) 3-6 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Reading Wonders 3-6 by McGraw-Hill Education
- ReadyGen 6by
The organization has also launched a California-specific website called the California Curriculum Collaborative, created in partnership with Pivot Learning, which also lists all Common Core curriculum materials recommended by the state Board of Education.
EdReports Seeks Curriculum Reviewers
EdReports relies on educators from across the country to review curriculum materials for its website. The nonprofit organization is currently seeking experts to serve as Content Reviewers. More details and an online application are available here.
Johns Hopkins University reviews academic programs based on research
The Center for Research and Reform in Education in the School of Education at the John Hopkins University launched a new website earlier this month to help educators and administrators evaluate K-12 math and reading programs according to requirements established in the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. However, the U.S. Senate later voted to rescind accountability regulations under that law.
Still, anyone interested in learning about evidence-based programs may find the website, called Evidence for ESSA, useful.
It relies on the center’s faculty, along with scholarly studies, to determine an academic program’s effectiveness.
The website was established to function like a consumer report aimed at determining how well programs were vetted, said Robert Slavin, director of the center, in a university article.
“State chiefs, district superintendents, and principals are the primary audience —the people making decisions about programs for schoolchildren,” he said. “But there are many other people — parents and teachers, for example — who could use this information to advocate for particular programs that they think would be better for their kids. And we hope they will.”
Read more here.
Common Core Standards: What educators are saying
Across the country, teachers are adapting their instructional practices to the new Common Core standards in math and English language arts. A recent report, called Listening and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments, reveals support, concerns and insights about the standards expressed by elementary teachers in Delaware, Illinois, Utah and Wisconsin. The teachers also discussed how the standards are affecting curricula and instructional materials, testing, student achievement data and accountability.
Although California teachers were not involved in these discussions, many of the comments shared may ring true for those working to implement the standards in this state.
If you’d like to weigh in on how standards are affecting instruction in your school, please participate in our Common Core #EdSourceChat!
Physics professor defends a key feature of Common Core math
Writing for Forbes, author and physics professor Chad Orzel defends Common Core math’s emphasis on explaining how students get their answers. “Forcing students to not just generate numbers but understand and explain the process they used is one of the best developments I’ve seen in the math my kids are learning. I hope they keep this up all the way through school, because it will make them better scientists or engineers (should they choose to go that route), and just better thinkers in general.” Read more
What are states actually changing about Common Core?
According to a new analysis highlighted in an article at Education Week, though 21 states are revising the Common Core standards or have already done so, most of the changes are minor: “Nearly 70 percent of the changes that were made in either math or language arts across all grades were simply wording or format clarifications to make the standards easier for educators or the public to understand.” Read more.