Common Core standards repealed by Arizona Board of Education

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Common Core Decision Puzzles Teachers in Arizona.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Proposed changes to standards used to guide K-12 Missouri student learning drew broad criticism Monday, ranging from claims that the recommendations are too similar to what’s already in place to concerns about whether changes are needed. The State Board of Education moved a small step closer to meeting Superintendent Diane Douglas’ goal of adopting Arizona-based learning standards when the board voted Monday to officially allow changes to Common Core-based standards.

Missouri lawmakers who oppose the national Common Core standards the state now uses passed legislation in 2014 to require a review of the benchmarks, with the goal of ultimately ditching them. In his first major address on education policy, given just two months after he took the oath of office, President Barack Obama put the issue on the national agenda. They ought “to stop lowballing expectations for our kids,” he said, adding that “the solution to low test scores is not lowering standards—it’s tougher, clearer standards.” In March 2010, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan accused educators of having “lowered the bar” so they could meet the requirements set by the federal education law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which requires that all students be proficient in reading and math by the year 2014. Common Core is intended to ensure students have the same learning goals from state-to-state, which proponents say can help children of families that frequently move and also can help states compare student learning. Even more important, we submit, is each state’s expectations for student performance with respect to the curriculum, as expressed through its proficiency standard.

Curricula can be perfectly designed, but if the proficiency bar is set very low, little is accomplished by setting the content standards in the first place. Educators during the board meeting praised ideas that would bring a greater focus on engineering, new drama and poetry standards and suggestions to improve middle and high school science.

Science Teachers of Missouri President-Elect Mike Szydlowski said the group “strongly recommends” that the board to adopt the recommended science standards for grades 6-12. This report is the fourth in a series in which we periodically assess the rigor of these standards (see “Johnny Can Read…in Some States,” features, Summer 2005; “Keeping an Eye on State Standards,” features, Summer 2006; and “Few States Set World-Class Standards,” check the facts, Summer 2008). Common Core opponents slammed the process used to develop the standards, while others questioned the need to drop what’s now in place and potentially lose the ability to compare Missouri students on a national and international level. NAEP, called “the nation’s report card,” is managed by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and is currently the “gold standard” of assessments.

Lou Ann Saighman, a member of the 6-12 English work group, said despite changes some wording is “exactly” the same in the proposed and current standards. A recommended geometry standard calls for students to know how to “classify quadrilaterals in a hierarchy based on properties.” Students now must “classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties.” Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven also said some of the recommended standards are not “significantly different,” but said the goal is to make only needed changes. “My mission is not to create X percentage for or against Common Core,” Vandeven said. “My mission is to really ensure we’re putting the best standards in front of our kids and teachers.” State law requires standards be in place by the 2016-2017 school year, putting education officials in a time crunch to address concerns. If a state identifies no higher a percentage of students as being proficient on its own tests than NAEP does, then the state can be said to have set its standards at a world-class level. Douglas introduced a 156-page report earlier this month that included proposals — which primarily call for less testing and tougher standards — she said would overhaul the state’s education system. “I think our parents are going to be very delighted to see that the education of their children is back under their control and they can count on a higher quality education coming out in the future,” Douglas said during brief remarks with reporters after the meeting. “It’s a very loud and clear message.” “We know that they’re not ‘college and career ready standards’ because they have huge omissions.

The governor has made it clear that it’s time to replace Common Core with Arizona standards and wants to see the board proceed with its process.” Monday’s meeting was the first board meeting Douglas attended since August, when she reported Miller to Department of Public Safety Officers, saying he grabbed her hand during the meeting. If they do, more of their schools will be identified as failing under NCLB rules, and states will then be required to take corrective actions to bring students’ performance up to the higher standard. Perhaps for this reason, a sharp disparity between NAEP standards and the standards in most states has been identified in all of our previous reports.

The grades reported here are based on the comparison of state and NAEP proficiency scores in 2009, and changes for each are calculated relative to 2003 (Figure 2). We then determined how many standard deviations each state’s difference was above or below the average difference of all observations in 2009, 2007, and 2005 on each test. The scale for the grades was set so that if grades had been randomly assigned and so were in a normal distribution, 10 percent of the states would earn As, 20 percent Bs, 40 percent Cs, 20 percent Ds, and 10 percent Fs. For example, on the 4th-grade math test in 2009, West Virginia reported that 60.8 percent of its students had achieved proficiency, but 28.1 percent were proficient on the NAEP. The overall grade for each state was determined by comparing the difference with the standard deviation from the average for all states for all four years on the tests for which the state reported proficiency percentages.

We are therefore generous in that we do not require the meeting of any stipulated cutoff in the differences with NAEP to award a specific grade: no single state would be ranked A, say, if we required for this a difference with NAEP smaller than 5 percentage points. Instead, we rank states against each other in accordance to their current position in the distribution of differences over all the years for which we have observations (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009). From these findings one might conclude that the Obama administration is having a huge policy impact by getting states like Tennessee and Delaware to set standards they have been unwilling to establish in the past.

But Tennessee earned almost full marks (98 percent) on the section of the competition (weighted a substantial 14 percent of all possible points) devoted to “adopting standards and assessments,” even though its standards have remained extremely low ever since the federal accountability law took hold. Despite the incentive to lowball expectations, five states—Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, and Washington—have set their standards at or close to the world-class level, earning them an A.

President Obama is undoubtedly correct, however, in suggesting that many states are “lowballing expectations.” Of the remaining 38 states, 27 earned a C, and 8—Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Texas, and Virginia—a D. This suggests that once a standard, however low, has been set, it tends to persist—another reason to be concerned about promises from Delaware and Tennessee. Eight states improved the overall rigor of their assessments by a full letter grade or more since 2007: Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. The results of these moves have been at odds: while Hawaii’s increased alignment with NAEP raised its grade from a B+ in 2007 to an A, South Carolina dropped from an A to a C-. States nonetheless seem to be continuing their trajectory of convergence toward standards of similar rigor in math (which, given the slipping standards noted above, constitutes a downward convergence), but are more divergent in reading since 2007, particularly in 4th grade.

This is an important task, as it reminds states that whether students have or have not learned cannot be a matter of how the test is designed and where the “proficiency line” is drawn.

Police: Student stabbed at Baltimore high school dies

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Student Killed In City School Stabbing.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. The teen had been in class on the third floor of the school building in the 1300 block of McCulloh Street when a sophomore went into the classroom and stabbed him at approximately noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, police reported. Police said Sunday that investigators are collaborating with the state’s attorney’s office to file additional charges now that the victim has died. Crawford remains in police custody, officials reported. “It’s a tragedy anytime we have someone killed in an act of violence, even moreso when it’s a child.

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