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April 29, 2014

PARCC Offers 'Three Answers to Rick Hess's Questions'

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.

April 21, 2014

Brooks, Stotsky, and the Common Core

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.

April 17, 2014

Common-Core Critics Can't Just Say No

Common Core critics in each state need to devise their own version of "repeal and replace."

March 31, 2014

Did the Press Do Its Due Diligence on the Common Core?

That peculiar disconnect between its presumed import and the lack of attention is the subject of a new report by my AEI colleague Mike McShane and me. In the report, titled Flying Under the Radar: Analyzing Common Core Media Coverage, we take a deeper look at how carefully the press covered this "once-in-a-generation" phenomenon.

March 26, 2014

Three Practical Questions About PARCC & SBAC Testing

Field testing for the Common Core-aligned PARCC and Smarter Balanced is now underway, and dozens of states are preparing to make consequential decisions based on the results come next spring.  I keep getting excited e-mails about all this.  Me? I'm frustrated (and a little astonished) that, four y...

March 24, 2014

Common Core and the Midterms

On the right, the Common Core has been a source of bitter division for nearly two years. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have championed the adoption of these K-12 standards in reading and math, while tea-party critics have savagely denounced the whole thing as misguided and the educational equivalent of Obamacare.

January 23, 2014

Tired Babysitters, Broken Windows, and the Common Core

On Monday, I penned a column for National Review Online titled "What Ever Happened to 'State-Led'" that seemed to frustrate and puzzle a number of Common Core advocates. I heard from plenty of friends and acquaintances who thought I was unreasonable and unfair.

January 15, 2014

The Slippery Slope of the Common Core

Since the Common Core standards were unveiled in 2010, advocates have insisted that it is a "state-led" effort. President Obama declared in the 2011 State of the Union, "These standards were developed... not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country." In truth, there is a studied dishonesty about the "state-led" rhetoric.

December 20, 2013

RHSU Flashback: The View From 2022

I thought it might be fun for the Friday before Christmas week to put up a blog post from last year that has been making me feel a bit prescient about the Common Core rollout. So, here is a blog I penned in May of 2012, "The Fate of The Common Core: The View from 2022."

December 16, 2013

Common Core and the Food Pyramid

Back at the beginning, in 2009 and 2010, I never would've expected the Common Core debate to get this heated and impassioned. Why? Unlike a lot of folks, it's because I thought (and continue to think) that the Common Core itself just doesn't matter that much. Now, please stay with me a bit before deciding you disagree. I always think of the food pyramid. When the pyramid was unveiled, I'm sure some amped-up nutritionists excitedly thought it would make a huge difference when it came to health and obesity. Turned out: not so much. Most people have never paid a whole lot of attention; after all, it's just a bunch of suggestions assembled through a bureaucratic process.

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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