Top Headlines in Standards-Based Reform 5.10.19

Friday, May 10, 2019

The C-SAIL blog is introducing a new feature that curates top news, research, ideas, and opinions relevant to standards-based reform. Our goal is to help connect readers with information they need to know. Is there something we missed? Email us to let us know.

Nearly a decade later, did the Common Core work? New research offers clues

“A new study, released in April by the [Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning] shows that states that changed their standards most dramatically by adopting the Common Core didn’t outpace other states on federal NAEP exams. By 2017 — seven years after most states had adopted them — the standards appear to have led to modest declines in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math scores.” (Chalkbeat)

  • "It’s rather unexpected. The magnitude of the negative effects tend to increase over time. That’s a little troubling."—Mengli Song, American Institutes of Research

[Go Deeper: C-SAIL Brief | Top Challenges to Implementing College- and Career-readiness Standards, as Reported by Teachers]


Why some educators are skeptical of engaging in rigorous research — and what can be done about it

Letting a researcher into the nitty gritty of your outcomes or practices might reveal that something isn’t working. And since it’s rare that educators/practitioners and researchers are even in the same room, education agency staff may be concerned about how findings will be framed once publicized. If they don’t even know one another, how can we expect researchers and educators to overcome their lack of trust and work together effectively? (Ahead of the Heard)

  • “Relationships between practitioners and researchers are the key to making sure research actually gets used in service of students.”—Cara Jackson, Bellwether Education Partners

Ed-Tech Supporters Promise Innovations That Can Transform Schools. Teachers Not Seeing Impact

“Fewer than one-third of America's teachers said ed-tech innovations have changed their beliefs about what school should look like. Less than half said such advances have changed their beliefs about how to improve students' academic outcomes. And just 29 percent felt strongly that ed-tech supports innovation in their own classrooms.” (EdWeek)

  • “Most ed-tech is pretty conservative, in the sense that it meets an existing need, not a future-oriented vision. It's not surprising that teachers don't see such tools as fundamentally changing their views about what schools should be doing and how students should be learning.”—Jal David Mehta, Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

English-Learners and Graduation: How ESSA Could Penalize ELLs and Their Schools

“By making four-year graduation rates such a prominent part of school accountability plans, the Every Student Succeeds Act could lead administrators in traditional high schools to turn away older English-learner students who may need additional time to earn their high school diplomas, posits Julie Sugarman, a senior policy analyst with the institute and the report's author.” (EdWeek–Learning the Language)

  • “ESSA could ‘disproportionately categorize English-learners as failures or, more concerningly, incentivize schools to push such students into inappropriate educational pathways or not to serve them at all, for fear of the consequences attached to being labeled as a school in need of improvement.”—Julie Sugarman, Migration Policy Institute

OPINION: 7 in 10 Students Aren’t Writing at Grade Level — We Can Do Better

“According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 25 percent of students nationwide are writing on grade level, and 3 percent are considered advanced. This suggests that the problem is widespread and more than simply an issue of poverty. We are just not teaching writing in this country.” (Hechinger Report)