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10+1 reactions to closing Iowa’s achievement gaps

10+1 reactions to closing Iowa’s achievement gaps

Today the Iowa Department of Education (DE) released a report on achievement levels in Iowa compared to other states. The report also focuses heavily on closing the significant achievement gaps that exist in our state. Here are some very quick reactions that I have to the report… The emphasis on better meeting the learning needs...

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The Common Core standards are supposed to be about bigger ideas and fewer of them?

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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The oligarchs pushing Common Core don’t send their kids to schools that use the Common Core

the same oligarchs who have brought this insane Common Core to fruition do not send their kids to schools that use Common Core. They send them to Waldorf schools. Or Quaker schools. Or Montessiori schools. Or the Lab School. You know, the kinds of schools that aren’t run like army drill camps, where the teachers...

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What does it mean to be ‘aligned to the Common Core?’

What does it mean to be ‘aligned to the Common Core?’

Did you know that… As expected, with the advent of the Common Core we are seeing a lot of labeling and re-labeling of instructional materials, resources, and activities. Publishers are adding the Common Core designation to existing textbooks, resources, assessments, and professional development opportunities just as fast as they can. Educators are unpacking the Common...

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Text complexity in the early grades: Shooting ourselves in the foot?

Text complexity in the early grades: Shooting ourselves in the foot?

Here are some quotes from the most recent issue of Educational Researcher regarding text complexity in the early grades, one of the hallmark pushes of the Common Core State Standards: the CCSS text complexity standards for Grade 3 appear to be aspirational, much like the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress targets (Shepard, 2008)....

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Will an emphasis on ‘close reading’ kill the joy of reading?

Will an emphasis on ‘close reading’ kill the joy of reading?

As most educators know by now, the new Common Core standards emphasize ‘close reading.’ It’s hard to argue with that as a necessary skill for understanding complex writing. As a professor I spent lots of time dissecting research articles, book chapters, blog posts, and legal cases with my students. Close, careful reading and discussion also...

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Don’t blame the Common Core for local curriculum decisions

Kathleen Porter-Magee says: While there is no shortage of programs that are emblazoned with a shiny new “Common Core Aligned!” sticker, the reality is that anyone can claim alignment. And while the Common Core is a convenient and politically expedient scapegoat for programs that lack coherence and rigor, it is up to school boards, principals,...

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Essay questions for education ‘reformers’

As a member of the Billionaire Boys’ Club, or as one of the paid associates of the BBC, you . . . 1. believe that extraordinarily complex skills like reading and writing ability can be validly and reliably measured by simple, objectivetests. Explain how that could possibly be so. Please draw upon your extensive knowledge...

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