Common Core

NPR Ed
4:59 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

How Standardized Tests Are Scored (Hint: Humans Are Involved)

We know very little about what goes into standardized tests, who really designs them, and how they're scored.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 10:58 am

Standardized tests tied to the Common Core are under fire in lots of places for lots of reasons. But who makes them and how they're scored is a mystery.

For a peek behind the curtain, I traveled to the home of the nation's largest test-scoring facility: San Antonio.

The facility is one of Pearson's — the British-owned company that dominates the testing industry in the U.S. and is one of the largest publishing houses behind these mysterious standardized tests.

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Education
10:32 am
Wed July 8, 2015

Concerns Raised Over Testing and Grade-Appropriate Standards at Education Town Hall

The Oklahoma State Department of Education held a town hall meeting Tuesday night—and invited the public to comment on the newly proposed state academic standards.

The new academic framework has been crafted to replace the Common Core standards that Gov. Mary Fallin repealed last year. Educators gave short presentations—then opened the floor up for questions and comments.

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NPR Ed
5:01 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Anti-Test 'Opt-Out' Movement Makes A Wave In New York State

A school bus passes a sign encouraging parents to have their children opt out of state tests in Rotterdam, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:25 am

Across New York state this week, some students are refusing to take a test, and they're not getting punished for it. The test is a Common Core-aligned, federally mandated exam, and students, parents and educators are part of what they're calling the opt-out movement.

Opt-outs made news last week in several states: Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, to name a few. The objections are similar everywhere. But no state is posting numbers like New York.

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Education
7:08 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Common Core Means 3 Tests In 3 Years For Michigan Kids

As political battles rage over the Common Core, teachers like Jennifer Bahns at the University Prep Academy middle school in Detroit are trying to prepare their students for the first major Common Core exams this spring.
Erin Einhorn Hechinger Report

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:54 pm

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Read more about the Common Core.

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Ditching The Common Core Brings A Big Test For Indiana

Indiana squeezed the normal life cycle of a test—pilot, field, real—into one, massive exam that clocked in at 12 hours.
LA Johnson/NPR

Every eldest child knows all too well: Going first can be tough.

There's no one to help you pick the good teachers at school or give you advice on how to tell Mom and Dad about that fender bender.

Right now, Indiana is the firstborn, feeling its way through some thorny — and consequential — education decisions with little precedent to lean on.

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Education
3:17 am
Wed January 14, 2015

North Carolina Rethinks The Common Core

Math scores at McMichael High School have improved.
Courtesy of McMichael High School

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 4:49 pm

It's shaping up to be an interesting year for the Common Core, barely five years after 45 governors embraced it. A few states have already repealed the new math and reading standards. Others are pushing ahead with new tests, curriculum and teaching methods aligned to the Core.

And in some states, its future hangs in the balance. North Carolina is one of them.

It was one of the first states that quietly adopted the Common Core, and it moved quickly to put the standards in place.

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Education
4:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Common Core Repeal, The Day After

Hugo High School, like many public schools in Oklahoma, was a battleground in the fight over Common Core.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:32 pm

What do the Common Core State Standards have in common with congressional Democrats and the Chicago Cubs?

They all had a really rough year.

Of the 45 states that first adopted the academic standards, many spent 2014 talking about repeal. In Oklahoma (as well as Indiana and South Carolina), it wasn't just talk. The Legislature voted to drop the Core in May. And Gov. Mary Fallin, a longtime champion of the Common Core, signed the repeal in June.

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Education
3:44 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Oklahoma's No Child Left Behind Waiver Reinstated

Credit Flickr / biologycorner

The U.S. Department of Education announced today it is reinstating Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Flexibility Waiver for the 2014-15 school year.

The NCLB waiver was pulled in August following the repeal of Common Core academic standards by state legislators. At the time, Assistant Education Secretary Deborah Delisle told Oklahoma officials they could "no longer demonstrate that the state's standards are college- and career-ready standards."

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Education
3:46 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Common Core Reading: The High Achievers

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:29 pm

Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.

She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.

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Education
7:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Getting Ready for Common Core's Replacement

Oklahoma representatives are trying to find a replacement for the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

KOSU's Danniel Parker reports on last week's House Education Committee meeting.

House Bill 3399 made Oklahoma one of ten states not to use Common Core educational standards. A committee led by State Rep. Ann Coody is helping create a new standard for the state, set to begin in 2016.

Director of Secondary Education for Stillwater Schools Walter Howell says this raises some issues and leaves some teachers in a scramble

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