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Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
Even as the Common Core State Standards are being put into practice across most of the country, nearly half of teachers feel unprepared to teach them, especially to disadvantaged students, according to a new survey. The study by the EPE Research Center found deep wells of concern among teachers about their readiness to meet the challenges posed by…
Descriptors: State Standards, Academic Standards, Alignment (Education), Disadvantaged Youth
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
As the common core is brought to life in classrooms this year, some English/language arts teachers are finding themselves caught in a swirl of debate about whether the new standards require them to cut back on prized pieces of the literary canon to make room for nonfiction. A recent spate of news reports has ignited a new wave of anxiety about the…
Descriptors: State Standards, Nonfiction, Guidance, Language Arts
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
New York is ahead of most states in its work to design detailed curricula and professional development for the common core and to build brand-new tests to reflect them. What's unfolding in the Empire State as a result of that work illustrates the way the common standards can pressure changes in the education landscape, and torque the tensions…
Descriptors: Accountability, Stakeholders, Academic Standards, State Policy
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
The big clock in Dowan McNair-Lee's 8th grade classroom in the Stuart-Hobson Middle School is silent, but she can hear the minutes ticking away nonetheless. On this day, like any other, the clock is a constant reminder of how little time she has to prepare her students--for spring tests, and for high school and all that lies beyond it. The…
Descriptors: State Standards, Academic Standards, Urban Schools, School Districts
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
Using an article about labor leader Cesar Chavez's grape boycott and hunger strike, students at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, D.C., are doing a "close read," a skill prized by the new Common Core State Standards being put into practice in the District of Columbia. As an English/language arts teacher in the common-core era,…
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, State Standards, Academic Standards, Language Arts
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
Returning from spring vacation, Dowan McNair-Lee's students find their desks in neat rows, facing forward. For the previous seven months, the 8th graders had sat in clusters, facing one another, to facilitate discussion. But janitors used the break to ready the classroom for the year-end tests that are only two weeks away. The new arrangement is…
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Grade 8, Teacher Improvement, Student Evaluation
McNeil, Michele; Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2013
With the debut of common assessments less than two years away, states and districts are worried about the accountability systems that hinge on those tests. A growing chorus of policy groups is urging more flexibility in how states evaluate teachers, label schools, and enforce other high-stakes consequences during what's likely to be a messy…
Descriptors: Educational Testing, High Stakes Tests, Scores, Accountability
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 2012
For years, educators have been trying to free history instruction from the mire of memorization and propel it with the kinds of inquiry that drive historians themselves. The common core standards may offer more impetus for districts and schools to adopt that brand of instruction. A study of one such approach suggests that it can yield a triple…
Descriptors: History Instruction, Content Area Reading, Literacy, Thinking Skills
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
Librarians say they view the common core, with its emphasis on explanation, complex text, and cross-disciplinary synthesis, as an unprecedented opportunity for them to really strut their stuff. Adopted by all but four states, the standards have prompted coordinating discussions among the library-association divisions that represent librarians in…
Descriptors: Literacy, Leadership, Library Services, Nonfiction
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
An unprecedented assessment project involving half the states is planning a significant shift: Instead of designing one test for all of them, it will offer a choice of a longer and a shorter version. The pivot came in response to some states' resistance to spending more time and money on testing for the common standards. The plan under discussion…
Descriptors: State Departments of Education, Consortia, Test Construction, Standardized Tests
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
Dozens of teachers and literacy specialists from across the country hunkered down in Baltimore at round tables, with laptops, pens, and paper, intent on rewriting the collections that wield tremendous influence over the way millions of U.S. children learn literacy skills: the big-name basal readers. Hailing from 18 school districts in 11 states,…
Descriptors: Basal Reading, Literacy, Reading Instruction, State Standards
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
A group of states that is designing tests for the common academic standards has taken a key step to ensure that the assessments reflect students' readiness for college-level work: It gave top higher education officials from member states voting power on test-design questions that are closest to the heart of the college-readiness question. At its…
Descriptors: Higher Education, Advisory Committees, Voting, College Preparation
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
Sparked by the Common Core State Standards, teachers and literacy experts are arguing about the role of a time-honored pillar of English/language arts instruction: classroom activities designed to help students understand what they are about to read. The attacks on--and defenses of--"prereading" are unfolding largely in cyberspace, through online…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Electronic Publishing, Learning Activities, State Standards
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
As teachers begin shaping lessons for the common standards, many are wondering how to prepare their students for tests that won't be ready for at least two years. Sample items being drafted for those exams offer early ideas of what lies ahead. Two large groups of states are using federal Race to the Top money to create new suites of exams for the…
Descriptors: State Standards, Test Items, Consortia, Item Banks
Gewertz, Catherine – Education Week, 2012
A year ago, top officials in the school leadership world were worried. It seemed to them that principals were being overlooked in national conversations about how to get educators ready for the Common Core State Standards. But that is changing. The past six months have seen a surge of activity to acquaint principals with the new standards and…
Descriptors: Academic Standards, State Standards, Principals, Instructional Leadership
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