Jeb Bush Will Go Down Swinging on Common Core #stopcommoncore #ccss

Truth in American Education -

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush defended the Common Core State Standards in his keynote speech at the Foundation for Educational Excellence’s National Summit on Education Reform yesterday.  He’s the only prospective Republican presidential candidate to do so.  He are a few things he said about Common Core.

This is why the debate over the Common Core State Standards has been troubling. I respect those who have weighed in on all sides of this issue. Nobody in this debate has a bad motive. But let’s take a step back from this debate for a second. This morning over 213 million Chinese students went to school, and nobody debated whether academic expectations should be lowered in order to protect the students’ self-esteem. Yet in Orange County, Florida, that exact debate did occur. And so the school board voted to make it impossible for a student to receive a grade below a 50. You get 50 out of 100 just for showing up and signing your name. This was done, and I quote here from a local official, so the students “do not lose all hope.”

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How a Republican Congress Can Kill Common Core #stopcommoncore #ccss

Reason -

Republicans have retaken control of Congress on a promise to reverse President Barack Obama’s failed policies. They should start by honing in on an initiative now synonymous with federal overreach and creeping nationalization of local education matters: the new Common Core national curriculum standards, which give parents everywhere nightmares about their kids’ trendy, incomprehensible math homework assignments.

The GOP should tell Obama to back off and stop forcing the standards down the throats of various state legislatures. In doing so, Republicans would draw praise from Common Core’s many critics—including conservatives and libertarians, parents, and even teachers—but also some of its most devout proponents, who believe federal involvement has resulted in nothing but bad PR for the initiative.

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More than a Score responds to ISBE’s misinformation regarding PARCC and opt-out

Illinois Raise Your Hand

Statement from More than a Score-

Recently, the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) distributed inaccurate information about a student’s ability to opt-out of state tests. In the “Weekly Message” dated 10/28/2014 from Chris Koch on the ISBE website it is stated that  “students may not opt out of the PARCC assessment,” and that “a district that allows students to opt out of the state’s required test would directly violate both federal and state law.”

The law regarding students’ refusing state mandated accountability testing has not changed since last year. State and federal law say that schools must administer these tests, but not that children must take them.

Federal law (NCLB) requires states receiving Title I funds to create a statewide assessment that “provides for the participation in such assessments of all students”. State law, created to comply with NCLB, is that “the State Board of Education shall annually assess all students enrolled in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and mathematics.” So, these are duties for the government to perform.

They are not obligations for action by the students. Additionally, ISBE acknowledges in many places that children may refuse testing. ISBE general counsel conceded that students cannot be compelled to take these exams.

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Heartland Institute to host Common Core event in Palatine Illinois #stopcommoncore #ccss

When an ideologically diverse array of the nation’s top education activists and experts comes together within the pages of a single volume to speak out against the Common Core State Standards and related initiatives in education, the magnitude of the issue couldn’t be more clear.

An engineer, a social worker, a local school board member, an education blogger, moms, lawyers, and academic researchers — each of the contributors to this book’s 18 essays sheds light on a different aspect of Common Core. Together the essays offer a highly informed and troubling picture of the dangers this controversial reform package poses to students, families, education, and society.

They also demonstrate that real dialogue and cooperation acro ss political lines are not only possible but, in fact, crucial, both in defeating false reforms and establishing true education pathways that honor students, parents, and teachers alike.


Marsha Familaro Enright
Tim Slekar
 Kirsten Lombard
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Registration and hors d’oeuvres
6:00 p.m. - 6:05 p.m. Introduction by Bruno Behrend
6:05 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Panel discussion
6:45 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Q&A
7:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Book signing

Click HERE to register for event

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Effingham Illinois Common Core event #stopcommoncore #ccss


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Alexander stakes out course as head of Senate Ed Committee

The Tennessean-

After his lopsided re-election victory, Lamar Alexander is poised to become chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the new GOP-led Senate, opening a path for Republicans to pounce on a cornerstone education policy of President Barack Obama.

Alexander, recognizing that a new Republican majority would be likely, highlighted his preferred education course routinely on the campaign trail — though it would be an uphill climb for any to become law with Obama still holding veto power from the White House.

A top item for Alexander would be to upend a hallmark approach of Obama’s education agenda — that is, getting states to adopt policies such as new academic standards and systems to evaluate teachers by rewarding them with federal Race to the Top grant money or waivers from the outdated federal No Child Left Behind law.

Even though states themselves make these calls — Tennessee did so in 2010 as one of the first states to land Race to the Top money — Alexander has likened the approach of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan as a trend toward a “national school board.”

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Stalwarts push to revive cursive in New York city schools #stopcommoncore #ccss

New York Post -

If your kid can’t sign his or her name, here’s why: Most city public schools stopped teaching cursive handwriting years ago.

The focus on high-stakes testing and rigorous Common Core math and reading standards has reduced handwriting to a “lost art.” The city Department of Education leaves the decision to teach it up to each school.

But some school officials want to bring cursive back.

Marlon Hosang, principal of PS 64 in Alphabet City, plans to launch a cursive curriculum this spring, saying it will boost learning — and students love it.

“We should use technology, but not at the expense of being able to write your thoughts on paper,” he told The Post.

The act of handwriting is “soothing,” and research shows it stimulates a different part of the brain, Hosang said.

“It helps kids get smarter,” he said.

His fifth-grade teacher, Amanda Roccanova, used to teach in city Catholic schools, where handwriting is still taught in second grade.

She has already taught her PS 64 class the basics: the slant, downcurve, undercurve, overcurve and loop.

Every Friday, she demonstrates a letter or two and sends kids home with practice sheets for homework.

“The hardest thing for them is holding the pencil correctly,” Roccanova said. “A lot of them still hold it in a fist.”

Hosang visits classes and writes kids’ names to pique their interest.

The students seem eager to learn the “grown-up” skill.

“I like script because it’s more curly than the straight lines,” said fourth-grader Kasidee, 9, whose grandma has bought her handwriting manuals.

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