By Ellen Whitesides, Illustrative Mathematics
One of the greatest challenges right now in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics is determining the quality of resources, materials, and professional learning that claim to be aligned to the standards. Illustrative Mathematics is a website and growing community focused on illustrating the standards with high quality tasks reviewed by a math expert as well as a classroom expert. Illustrative mathematics is building a community of expertise that writes and reviews tasks, discusses tasks and standards, and works together to better understand strong mathematics instruction.
The idea of Illustrative Mathematics came from the writing of the Common Core Standards. The author team envisioned example tasks to clarify the meaning and nuances of standards but these examples were not finished in time for the publication of the standards document. These examples became the basis for Bill McCallum’s project, The Illustrative Mathematics Project. The project aimed to illustrate the standards with tasks, and at the same time give recognition to the difficult art of task writing and reviewing. The community worked together to determine the necessary pieces of a good task, and formulated criteria for task reviews. As tasks were discussed, reviewed, edited, and revised expertise developed within the community, and The Illustrative Mathematics Project grew into its current form, Illustrative Mathematics. Illustrative Mathematics images a world where people know, use, and enjoy mathematics and we are collaborating together as a community to create that world.Read More →
By Jamie Woodson, President and CEO, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) Nashville, Tennessee
Just a few years ago, Tennessee embarked on an ambitious plan to better prepare students for the future. Tennesseans took a hard look at student proficiency and concluded that continuing to accept mediocre academic performance was a disservice to our students. When SCORE was launched in 2009, we identified a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for unprecedented growth in student achievement in Tennessee.
Now, Tennessee has reached an important milestone. The November 7 release of the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) for 4th- and 8th-grade reading and math confirmed that student achievement in Tennessee has grown faster than any other state. Tennessee’s 2011-13 growth is the largest by any state since NAEP began consistent assessments in 2003. We are very aware that we have much work to do to sustain and accelerate these gains.Read More →
By The Hunt Team
Sacramento Bee Associate Editor Foon Rhee shares his views on the political careers of California’s Governor Jerry Brown and North Carolina’s former Governor Jim Hunt in the op-ed, Editorial notebook: Jerry Brown could learn a thing or two from Jim Hunt, who took a similar path. A former reporter for The Charlotte Observer, Rhee discusses the parallel roads taken by these two longest serving governors in their states.Read More →
By Rick Miller, Executive Director, California Office to Reform Education (CORE)
Transitioning from California’s old standards to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) over the past three years has been both exciting and challenging. Implementing an assessment system that is aligned to the new standards is a critical next step in this process as it will provide both accountability and important information to our teachers and administrators.
To address this need, California’s Governor signed a bill last month that eliminates the multiple choice standardized tests in reading, math, and social science that California public school students have been taking since 1999. Assembly Bill (AB) 484 replaces these pencil-and-paper exams with new computer-based adaptive tests. The new assessment system, called the California Measurement of Academic Progress and Performance (CalMAPP), includes the Smarter Balanced CCSS-aligned assessments for English language arts and mathematics.Read More →
Recently, Governor Jim Hunt spoke to a crowd of business, political, and civic leaders in Greensboro about the importance of investing in early childhood education in Guilford County, NC. Gov. Hunt, a keynote speaker, – along with psychologist Nathan Fox a professor at the University of Maryland and David Lawrence, Jr., president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation in Florida – stressed that children should begin school ready to learn, prepared mentally, emotionally and socially before kindergarten. He urged leaders to understand that “85 percent of brain growth occurs by age three and that that the first 2,000 days of a child’s life are critical to shaping who they will be. Investing in early childhood education is morally important and economically the smartest thing we could do.”Read More →
The Education Trust-West – a statewide educational policy, research, and advocacy organization that works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels – spoke out in support of the Obama Administration’s efforts to protect the rights of students, parents and educators in the following article, “National and State Organizations Respond to Elimination [...]Read More →
The following is an excerpt from Governor Jim Hunt’s speech for The Thomas Willis Lambeth Lecture given on September 26, 2013 at The University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill.
By The Hunt Team
Looking ahead, it is important for us in North Carolina to study and enact school reform ideas that are well proven. Setting high standards for our students makes sense. And I commend Governor (Pat) McCrory for endorsing the new college- and career-ready Common Core State Standards for North Carolina. Assessing teacher effectiveness, by means that include data on their students’ learning gains, makes sense. And some “pay for performance” as a part of compensation for teachers is a good idea.Read More →
In an effort to aid parents understanding of the new Common Core State Standards, NBC News’ Education Nation team created an easily accessible parent toolkit to help parents participate in their children’s academic success and personal growth. This free resource is a one-stop-shop for parents as a website and mobile app, and includes:Read More →
By Vicki Phillips, Director, College-Ready Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
All students deserve an education that prepares them to succeed in college, career and life. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are focused on finding ways to support both teachers and students in this pursuit, and one of the most important ways is the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
The standards are being implemented in classrooms across the country to ensure students have the skills and knowledge needed for the next grade level, and ultimately college and career success. And we want to hear from teachers on how it is going.Read More →
Virtual Worlds Allow Us To Play And Dream — But Do Educators Dare To And Remember How To Do Just That?
By Lisa Dieker, Ph.D. and Michael Hynes, Ph.D., University of Central Florida
As we face class-size increases, new or improved standards, reduction of budgets, higher and higher levels of accountability and whatever else can be thrown at us as educators, we wondered what would happen if we just stopped for a minute, closed our eyes and dreamed about a utopia in education. What would we dream? Would we see classrooms in jet planes traveling the world, unlimited access to the latest developments in technology, teachers supporting each and every student, daily massages for our hard working classroom teachers, or would we simply dream of peace, happiness and harmony for each student who walks into the door of a school?Read More →