The past couple days I've run pieces by PARCC's Jeff Nellhaus and SBAC's Joe Wilhoft that helped illuminate how their consortia are going to address some key challenges when it comes to making sure that the new Common Core tests can carry the load they're being asked to bear. I found the exchange somewhat heartening, after years during which my questions had been genially (and sometimes not so genially) brushed aside. Having read the responses by Jeff and Joe, I have a few additional queries.
A few weeks ago, I asked three questions about how confident we should be that the results of the new, quasi-national, computer-assisted Common Core tests will be valid and reliable enough to support stuff like teacher evaluation and school accountability. Today I'll be publishing a response from SBAC's Joe Wilhoft.
A few weeks ago, I asked three questions about how confident we should be that the results of the new, quasi-national, computer-assisted Common Core tests will be valid and reliable enough to support stuff like teacher evaluation and school accountability. Today I'll be publishing a response from PARCC's Jeff Nellhaus.
On Thursday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan yanked Washington State's NCLB waiver, forcing the state to again operate under provisions of a law that Duncan has declared "broken."
Showing the taste for power that has led Sen. Lamar Alexander to accuse him of thinking he runs a national school board, yesterday Secretary of Education Arne Duncan yanked Washington state's "waiver" from the No Child Left Behind Act. In his letter, Duncan expressed his disappointment in the failure of Washington state's legislature to heed his instruction "to put in place teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that take into account information on student learning growth based on high-quality college- and career-ready (CCR) State assessments as a significant factor in determining teacher and principal performance levels."
Blogger John Thompson and Gates research honcho Steve Cantrell ultimately had an extended, robust exchange of views. They didn't "solve" anything but I think this kind of honest, civil disagreement makes it a helluva lot easier to think about finding workable ways forward. So, when they offered to share their takes on the whole deal, I was game. Here's what they had to say.
Many in education will bewail the Supreme Court's Schuette decision. I think that's misguided. For what it's worth, here's my take.
A couple years ago I observed, "I see great potential value in states choosing to embrace common, high-caliber reading and math standards... That said, seems to me there's a huge chance that the whole exercise will go south, with many states implementing the Common Core half-heartedly, while screwing with existing reforms and standards. Such an outcome would ultimately do more harm than good." Last Friday, two columns reminded me why I fear the entire Common Core enterprise is likely to have disquieting results.
Common Core critics in each state need to devise their own version of "repeal and replace."
Regular readers are familiar with Neerav Kingsland, who's penned some of the more popular RHSU guest posts. Two years ago, I did a Straight Up conversation with Neerav when he took the reins from Sarah Usdin at New Schools for New Orleans. We've now come full circle, with Neerav recently announcing the he is stepping down at NSNO to aid other cities and districts seeking to pursue New Orleans-style education reform. It seemed an opportune time to catch up with Neerav, take stock of where things are in New Orleans, and hear his thoughts on what's ahead.