Common Core

Reading is the core of the Common Core. For the most part, education cannot begin without a student first learning how to read.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the co-author of the new book Reading Reconsidered, which looks at the power of reading and how it is being taught on all levels…or at least, maybe, how it should be.

We’ll also spend an academic minute finding out what type of person is more likely to be part of the grammar police.

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Third through eighth grade students finished Common Core English language arts exams this week. And with another year of testing comes another year of opt-outs.

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New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the state has made major changes to the Common Core English and math assessments since last year when 1 in 5 students refused to take them. Despite the changes, the children of a county executive in the Hudson Valley are opting out once again.

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The newly elected Chancellor to the Board of Regents, Betty Rosa, expressed grave doubts about the state’s use of standardized tests in the schools, saying if she were not on the Board of Regents, she would join the opt-out movement and not permit her children to take the tests.

C2 Education

Beginning March 5th, students around the country will sit and take the S.A.T….and it will be very different. In what some are calling the biggest overhaul to the exam in a century, it will look different, be scored differently and, hopefully, better measure a student’s chance for success in college.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a national leader in SAT preparation about the new exam.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

This is the 25th year that charter schools have been operating in the US, and new report says that, enrollment wise, they are doing better than ever. Hundreds of new charter schools have opened this year. However, a couple hundred have closed. And the head of a national charter school group says that’s fine with them.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll catch up with the charter school movement.

Facebook

Reaction has been coming in from all sides on President Obama’s State of the Union Address. The reaction from Republican presidential candidates was as negative as you’d expect. The other side of the aisle was more positive. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation with, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.

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President Obama’s final State of the Union address was praised by Democrats and their political allies. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.

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To pop the champagne or not pop the champagne, that is the question.

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The state’s education commissioner says no new laws are needed to reverse a proposal in this year’s state budget tying teacher performance reviews more closely to standardized tests. At the December Board of Regents meeting, members voted to postpone the effects of the tests on teacher evaluations until for at least four more years.

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A task force put together by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reversing a number of policies in the Common Core standards, including parts of a measure on teacher evaluations pushed by Cuomo less than a year ago. The governor’s task force report, released with little fanfare late in the day Thursday, also calls for scrapping the Common Core standards in favor of a new state-generated standard.

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The backlash against standardized testing is rippling through some Roman Catholic schools. Those schools are already balancing the college-driven Common Core learning standards against their institutions' spiritual goals.

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Time is running out to take part in New York state's public opinion survey on the Common Core learning standards.

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The state’s latest teacher evaluation system, which was supposed to be in place by this Sunday, November 15th, has essentially been put on hold as 90 percent of school districts have been granted waivers to delay its implementation. It represents a reversal for a policy championed by Governor Cuomo just last spring. 

The new rules for teacher evaluations were put in place last March, as part of the state budget. 

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In the wake of fierce debate over the implementation of the Common Core education standards in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a task force to undertake a comprehensive review and present recommendations. WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was in Lake Placid last night for one of three simultaneous public listening sessions.

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What are the odds the kids in your neighborhood will succeed? That’s the question the Siena Research Institute tried to answer in a New York State Life Chances Survey. 

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The North Country Alliance for Public Education held its fourth “Open Forum on Open Education” Thursday evening. The panel included the region’s state representatives and one of its newest Regents. As WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the discussion focused on the impact of Common Core on the state’s education system.

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Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules set out by Governor Cuomo and the legislature in March. The news comes amidst lots of changes, including  the leadership of the state Board of Regents.

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New Yorkers are split on how well their governor is doing , but, when it comes down to issues, clear majorities emerge.

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When John King, New York's top-ranking education official, left his post for a federal position, many New Yorkers breathed a sigh of a relief. That relief is short-lived, now that King is succeeding U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

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Teachers say they hope Governor Cuomo’s newly appointed education commission will fix problems with the controversial Common Core learning standards. But they say a lot has to change, including the unpopular tests associated with the standards. 

Cuomo named his new panel in a web video.

The Task Force will include educators, teachers, parents, officials from the State Education Department and the teacher’s unions,” Cuomo said in the pre recorded message.

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New York state's education commissioner says the Common Core tests to be given in the spring will be shorter than in previous years.

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The state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

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Saying he agrees with the goals of the Common Core educational standards but believes their implementation by the New York State Education Department has been botched, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a "comprehensive review." His entire statement on the issue is as follows:

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  School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the days before school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

The campaign, taking place on Facebook and other social media, aims to send children to class on the first day of the school year with a letter signed by their parents saying they will not be taking the standardized tests this year.

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  State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so. The commissioner detailed her views on the controversial Opt Out movement in an interview with public radio and television.

Twenty percent of children this year boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

  The state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some back lash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher. 

Kremer Reacts To New York Standardized Test Results

Aug 17, 2015
Tim Kremer
Tim Kremer

The debates over standardized testing, teacher evaluations and opting out of the tests by students with the backing of their parents were all renewed recently as New York released the results of the math and English language exams for grades three through eight. In April, 20 percent of students opted out of the exams and of those who did take the tests, just over 38 percent were proficient in math and just over 31 percent in English. WAMC's Brian Shields spoke with the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, about the test results. 

Challenges Await For New State Ed Commissioner

Jul 14, 2015
Karen DeWitt

New York's new education commissioner has been on the job just over a week, and she’s been traveling the state on a listening tour to reach out to teachers, school boards and others who’ve been buffeted by an intense political climate during the most recent legislative session.  Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia attended a meeting of the Rural Schools Association in Cooperstown Monday.

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Newly appointed State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says her first order of business is to listen to parents, teachers and administrators around New York.

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