Common Core – Does it Cometh?
Field-Testing Set to Begin on Common Core Exams
National field-testing has begun on Common Core assessments. Over the next three weeks, more than 4 million students in 36 states, including Louisiana, will take new math and English language arts assessments from PARCC and Smarter Balanced. Results will be used to determine if there are questions that might confuse or overwhelm students and also whether or not schools have the technological capacity to handle large-scale, computer-based testing.
In honor of the hundreds of Louisiana students field testing PARCC this week, the Times-Picayune is publishing sample questions. Nola.com will post a new question online each day just before noon and post the answer the following day.
There’s a new sheriff in town: Louisiana judges Common Core alignment
Education Gadfly is impressed by Louisiana’s review of Common Core curricula. Gadfly says Louisiana’s detailed analysis of available resources, which rates each resource based on how well it is aligned with Common Core, “shows how state leaders can send powerful signals to the marketplace about what teachers and students in their states need to meet the demands of state standards.”
New York Should Look to New Orleans
The Big Easy
The New York Post believes Mayor Bill de Blasio should look to New Orleans to see how a school system based on choice and charters can boost achievement and reduce inequality. In New Orleans, says the Post, the emphasis is not on who is providing the education but who can deliver results, and multiple performance measures – improved test scores, fewer failing schools, and higher graduation rates – show New Orleans is headed in the right direction.
Top of the News
City’s two public school systems reach landmark agreement
OPSB and RSD have reached a landmark deal aimed at shoring up services for the city’s neediest children and sorting out how to manage the supply of school buildings. This cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) addresses the needs of high risk students, outlining who will provide the services and how they will be paid for, including operating a truancy center, transitions for court-involved students, expanding therapeutic settings for students with severe mental health needs, and funding for very expensive special needs students. The agreement also addresses facility issues and the need for citywide planning on the number and types of schools. Editor’s note: This agreement was approved in OPSB committee and goes before the board on Tuesday. Educate Now! applauds OPSB and RSD for this effort. By working collaboratively, they have resolved a number of key issues to better serve students citywide.
Going All In
New Orleans goes all in on charter schools. Is it showing the way?
No other U.S. city has gone so far down the charter school path as New Orleans, where nine in ten students go to charters. The Christian Science Monitor examines the results so far, including our successes – 77.8% of the class of 2012 graduated within four years, up from just over 54% in 2004, and only 17% of students attended a failing school in 2012-13, down from 75% in 2004-05 – and also our challenges – not all schools are participating in the centralized enrollment system, and some parents of students with disabilities still struggle to find a school that can serve their children’s needs.
Career education overhaul proposed
The Louisiana Department of Education released its final proposal for the Jump Start program, which will provide career courses and workplace experiences to high school students and certify them in fields most likely to lead to high wage jobs. School districts, two-year colleges, and private firms will form regional teams to develop a curriculum that combines approved courses and workplace training for students. Schools will be rewarded in the high school accountability system for students who achieve high marks in both two-year and four-year college pathways while still in high school. In a letter to the editor, Superintendent John White says that we owe our students a chance for opportunity and upward mobility and that Jump Start will benefit students and Louisiana industry.