Nebraska students buck rare national drop in math test scores

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arizona Board Of Education Rejects Common Core.

For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by the Education Department on Wednesday.“The board is just saying, ‘We can take care of Arizona’s children and this is a very proud day for Arizonans,’” Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who wants to eliminate Common Core as part of her education plan, told KNXV-TV.

Although they come from opposing sides of the political spectrum, a vote against Common Core in Arizona and an announcement about standardized tests by the president may represent moves in the same direction – toward an approach to education that is less standardized, and more individualized.Data released by San Diego Unified on Friday reveals that there are a lot of them: A quarter of the current senior class is not on track to meet new graduation requirements in place for the class of 2016.

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. The decline appeared in both Grades 4 and 8 in an exam administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress and sometimes called “the nation’s report card.” The dip in scores comes as the country’s employers demand workers with ever-stronger skills in mathematics to compete in a global economy. Douglas continued, “This will send a clear message to the citizens of Arizona and the nation that Arizonans are smart enough, engaged enough, and collaborative enough to control the education of our own children.” “I’m just really getting weary of this conversation which really has no effect on what we are trying to do without children, or on our educators or on our parents,” he said. “I don’t think this is philosophical, I think this is political. Indeed, the district has its hands full helping students adjust to those requirements and a spate of other new stuff: On top of the new so-called A-G requirements, students are working with new Common Core curriculum and tests.

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. I’m growing tired of this nonsense.” “We recognize this vote was symbolic, but any action that moves us closer to repealing Common Core is a positive,” the governor’s office told KNXV in a statement. “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.” (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. Progress in reading, which has been generally more muted than in math for decades, also stalled this year as scores among fourth graders flat-lined and eighth-grade scores decreased. The standards will remain in place until the board can complete an already-begun review and recommend specific changes, which may in fact amount to very little. The exams assess a representative sampling of students on math and reading skills in public and private schools. “It’s obviously bad news,” said Michael J.

The new requirements include four years of English, three years of math, history/social science and science, including a higher level of math than what was required before, and two years of the same foreign language. Despite the mostly symbolic nature of the vote, Douglas praised it as “a great victory for the people of Arizona,” and argued that it points the way towards a total removal of the Core. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education policy group in Washington. “We don’t want to see scores going in this direction.” “That doesn’t mean we should completely freak out,” he added. “This could be a one-time variation, and maybe we’ll see things come back next time. School board president George Miller, on the other hand, voted against the measure and described it as both “political” in nature and “reckless.” (RELATED: The Latest Common Core Civil War Is In Arizona) “Educators and students have been working hard over the last five years to adapt to the new, more rigorous standards,” the group said. “What teachers are teaching and students are learning does not change as a result of the SBE’s vote.” Besides the fight over Common Core, Douglas has been locked in a legal struggle with the board over her attempts to fire pro-Common Core employees and her refusal to give them remote access to some school data. 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.

She’d like to take more electives, but felt pressure to take Advanced Placement classes instead, which carry weighted grades and can help boost grade point averages. “It’s so competitive to get into colleges,” she said. 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. For example, some of the fourth-grade math questions on data analysis, statistics and geometry are not part of that grade’s guidelines under the Common Core and so might not have been covered in class.

President Obama announced Saturday his plans to reduce the amount of standardized testing in schools, even proposing a cap for the amount of time schools spend on such tests. She and several classmates said they’re not getting enough sleep between all of their homework, completing college applications, plus work and community service obligations. Tests should be limited to 2 percent of classroom time, the president said as he explained that efforts to monitor and improve education with mandated tests have gone too far, well intended as they may have been.

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. The stagnating performance could also reflect the demographic changes sweeping America’s schools and the persistent achievement gap between white students and minorities, as well as between students from poor families and their more affluent peers. “It’s not unusual when you see lots of different things happening in classrooms to first see a slight decline before you see improvement,” said William J. The president acknowledged his own contribution to testing requirements for schools, although the trend toward one-size-fits-all education certainly began before his presidency, The New York Times reported.

If they are forced to re-take one of those classes to meet the new bar, that’s one fewer opportunity to explore something like music or journalism that they might actually be interested in. 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.

Some parents have indicated their displeasure with increasing national tests by keeping children home when schools administer tests, and some schools are also so irritated with the federal standards that they do little to dissuade them, The Christian Science Monitor reported in April. Arizona State Superintendent Diane Douglas has worked to reduce state-mandated tests, and she campaigned on a platform to repeal Common Core last year, saying Arizona had sat at the bottom of the list for education for too long, the Yuma Sun reported. As a group, the scores of Hispanic students trail those of white students; this year, for example, 21 percent of Hispanic fourth graders scored at a level deemed proficient or above on reading tests, compared with 46 percent of white students.

Douglas announced in early October after she reviewed the state’s schools, including everything from better diversity curriculum to making school lunches longer. “I think that fully repealing standards and saying we instantly have to go back to an old set of standards would’ve caused a lot more upheaval to the system than anyone wanted to see,” Mr. Student results were mailed home last week after much delay by the state and included a letter from Superintendent Cindy Marten admonishing parents to remember that the test is only one indicator of a child’s progress. “It was not user-friendly or intuitive,” White said. Students had complaints about taking the test on a computer, which not only had glitches, but was a big adjustment for students who have always been tested on paper.

A study this week showed that student demographics can affect test scores. “We should be learning from each other and schools who are doing the best job with students with disabilities and English language learners and students living below the poverty line,” Mr. The average fourth-grade math score this year was 240 on a scale of 500, down from 242 in 2013, the last time the federal assessment results were released. But it’s been a rocky transition elsewhere. “They’re still working out the kinks” in math classes in particular, White said. “They’re trying to make math into more than it is. The district also plans to place intervention counselors at five yet-to-be-named high-priority schools. “I do see fewer students able to take electives,” Bristol said. “Many of my journalism students, who would normally stay in journalism all four years, have had to skip 10th grade year due to having no room for an elective.” Then there are looming changes to the SAT, which will affect current high school juniors most. Kaya Henderson, the public schools chancellor, attributed the progress to strong teacher recruitment and training, preschool for 90 percent of the district’s 4-year-olds and a new mandatory curriculum.

Many students are rushing to take the current version of the SAT before its last administration date in January because there are more practice materials available and more is known about that test than the redesigned one. But with students taking so many other standardized tests, some educators said those who took the national exams, which were administered from January to March, may simply have had test fatigue.

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