By Shannon Sevier, Vice President for Advocacy for National PTA
National PTA recently released a video series on the Common Core to educate parents on the standards and empower them to support the implementation of the standards at school and home. The series was developed in partnership with The Hunt Institute as part of the association’s ongoing efforts to provide accurate information about the Common Core, ensure parents are knowledgeable about the standards and new assessments, and support parents every step of the way as states transition to the standards.Read More →
By The Hunt Team
Innovation and ingenuity have long been hallmarks of the U.S.’ economy. Our competitive strength is built on the legacy of great innovators – from Alexander Graham Bell and Lewis Latimer to the Wright brothers and Steve Jobs. The U.S. has prized its status as a leader in developing creative thinkers and entrepreneurs, but by many estimates, it is losing ground.
In 2012, foreign companies filed more than half of U.S. technology patent applications, continuing a trend that first began in 2009.1 In addition, the U.S.’ share of high-tech exports is decreasing. Today, China is the single largest exporter of high-tech products.2Read More →
By Delaware Governor Jack Markell
As we approach the four-year anniversary of the Common Core State Standards, it is an appropriate time to remember why and how they were created. We should take this chance to look beyond the difficult but expected obstacles we face in getting the standards up and running, and remember the opportunity they present for children across our country if implemented well.
Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and I co-chaired the initiative to create the standards because we shared the concerns of lawmakers, teachers, school leaders, businesspeople, and parents that expectations for our students were not high enough to prepare them for life after high school. Although the effort was entirely voluntarily, 45 states ultimately adopted this set of fewer, clearer, and more rigorous standards in English language arts and mathematics. With the input of educators, policymakers and experts, we laid out the knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for college and career opportunities and set practical bars for them to achieve.Read More →
By The Hunt Team
In the Common Core Watch blog, “Almost, Peggy, But This Time Not Quite,” Chester E. Finn, Jr. of the Fordham Institute responds to The Wall Street Journal opinion blog, “The Trouble With The Common Core,” by columnist Peggy Noonan. Finn comments in the blog that when it comes to Common Core facts, Noonan is only about 60 percent correct. He explains in the following:Read More →
By Brenda Welburn, Former Executive Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Welburn was a moderator and resource expert on improving educator effectiveness through evaluation and compensation reform at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special re:VISION series on educator effectiveness here.) She served as the executive director of NASBE from 1994 until 2012 and is known as an association manager and legislative professional with more than 35 years of experience in policy development and analysis in education and human service issues. Below she shares her insight on teacher compensation.
The movement of tying teacher compensation to student achievement has gained momentum throughout the nation, but not without serious debate on how to achieve the goals of the movement without adversely affecting the teaching profession and the learning environment.
To some it seems like a simple premise; those who perform at the highest level should receive the highest rewards. Yet for years policymakers have wrestled with the dilemma of how to support accountability plans that measure proficiency, while acknowledging the significance of student growth and progress among those students with the greatest deficiencies. To do this in a way that rewards milestones in progress – without impeding the goal of genuine student competency – is no easy task. One teacher’s class may have higher test scores, while another’s shows more measurable growth. The idea that student achievement in isolation can be the sole determinant of a teacher’s effectiveness, and thus their compensation package, does not reflect the reality of practice.Read More →
By Cicely Woodard, 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
When I first met my student, Mary, in August, she had an infamous mantra. Every time I saw her she said to me, “Mrs. Woodard, I hate math.” Whether in the halls during class change, at my door just before class started, or even in the cafeteria, she had the same greeting. She told me stories of how she had struggled with math in the past and how her parents stayed on her about her failing grades. Enter the Common Core State Standards.Read More →
By Aimee Rogstad Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign
Guidera was a panelist and resource expert on testing and assessments at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special re:VISION series on educator effectiveness here.) She is also the founder of Data Quality Campaign and leads the efforts to encourage policymakers to increase the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement. Below she shares how effective student assessments are crucial to improving student outcomes and educator effectiveness.Read More →
The Hunt Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched a new initiative to support the goals of the Common Core State Standards. The organizations will emphasize their importance to students, while also trying to dispel myths about the standards. The new partnership was announced by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D), a prominent supporter of the common core, during a press conference in Wilmington, on March 10, 2012.Read More →
By Frank Till, Superintendent, Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina.
Dr. Till was a panelist and resource expert on improving educator effectiveness through evaluation and compensation reform at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special reVISION series on educator effectiveness here.) Under Dr. Till’s tenure, test scores have risen significantly. In the 2011-2012 school year, over 90 percent of schools achieved growth, and all of the high schools were above the state average for graduation. Last year, his school district was one of four finalists for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes large urban districts for significant progress in increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap. Below he shares how his district transformed teaching and learning.Read More →
By The Hunt Team
Last month, Ginny Holshouser Mills delivered an impassioned welcome to North Carolina legislators during The Institute’s Holshouser Legislators Retreat – named in honor of her father, Governor Jim Holshouser. She recalled her father’s steadfast commitment to public education and bi-partisan collaboration as he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of North Carolina’s students. Her captivating remarks left all in attendance inspired and thinking about the importance of teamwork for the greater good. The following are excerpts from her speech.
“When he was in office, dad was serious about education, rural healthcare, the environment, and economic development. But after leaving office, dad dedicated most of his public service time to the areas of education and economic development. Why? Because he believed that education mattered more to the future of our state than any other area, and without it, there would be no way to build the North Carolina economy for generations to come. In short, education matters. And, dad thought that there were some things that mattered more than others.Read More →