Pittsfield Middle High School English teacher Jenny Wellington observes a student-led discussion. (Photo: Emily Richmond)

Putting students in charge to close the achievement gap

By Emily Richmond

In an 11th-grade English class at Pittsfield Middle High School in rural New Hampshire, Jenny Wellington’s students were gathered in a circle debating Henry David Thoreau’s positions on personal responsibility. “Do you think Thoreau really was about ‘every man for himself’?” asked one 16-year-old boy. “He lived alone in the woods and didn’t want to […]

More teachers are souring on Common Core, finds one survey

By Emmanuel Felton

Fewer teachers are enthusiastic about Common Core implementation and fewer think the new standards will help their students, according to a survey sponsored by education publisher Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The percentage of teachers who are enthusiastic about Common Core – a set of academic guidelines in math and English that […]

A fifth-grader reacts with excitement to her early lead in math specialist Josh Rosen's annual KenKen challenge. (Photo: Pat Wingert)

Are math specialists the answer to teaching better math?

By Pat Wingert

A few years ago, third-grade teacher Laura Metrano considered herself strictly a “language arts person.” “I am a writer and a reader,” she said during a break in her school day at Springhurst Elementary in Dobbs Ferry, New York. As a child, she said, “I was always a very reluctant math student.” As a teacher, […]

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Will weak teacher training ruin the Common Core?

By Alexandria Neason

The sprawling second floor of the Sheraton Boston Hotel is swarming with teachers. They’ve traveled from 17 states for the Common Core Now Institute, a two-day conference held by Solution Tree, a for-profit company that specializes in training teachers. The institute is designed to get educators ready to teach the new and contentious Common Core […]

Fourth grade math teacher Adelia Weatherspoon teaches her class Common Core math at Higgins Middle School in McComb.

Cramming for Common Core: one Mississippi school district has to make big changes in limited time

By Kayleigh Skinner

McComb, Miss. – Before school began in this small Mississippi town, teachers at McComb High School and Higgins Middle School received a massive binder full of instructional strategies outlining how to pace their classes. “All of that information seems so overwhelming at first,” recalls Tokie Young-Butler, whose job is to provide resources to teachers. McComb’s […]

Emmanuel Angeles, raises his hand to be called on while doing a worksheet in an English Language Learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in Rancho Cordova, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

What urban districts need to know to get their English language learners up to Common Core standards

By Emmanuel Felton

California’s large urban school districts are failing to consistently provide quality instruction to students with limited English language proficiency, according to Patricia Gardara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. “The large urban districts tend to have highly disproportionate poverty, transiency, and urban problems, which must be dealt with in addition to the regular […]

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a work sheet her students were doing in an English Language Learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School, Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Rancho Cordova, Calif. File photo. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Common Core can help English learners in California, new study says

By Pat Wingert

The rigorous new Common Core standards represent both a daunting challenge and a promising pathway that could help close the achievement gap for the growing number of American students who enter school knowing little or no English. So concludes a new yearlong study released today by the California-based arm of Education Trust, a nonpartisan research […]

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Common Core math standards add up to big money for education companies

By Sarah Carr

The politically controversial standards known as the Common Core have been in the headlines for months, in Louisiana and across the country. But for most teachers and educators the standards have been quietly transforming classroom instruction for years. And for textbook publishers and other vendors, the new standards add up to new business. Sarah Carr […]

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Higher Ed isn’t as far behind on Common Core as you think

By Jacqueline King

Most attention to the Common Core State Standards has focused understandably on the continued political backlash against the standards and the status of implementation in schools. As we look ahead to next spring when students will take assessments that indicate whether they are on track to college and career readiness, we have seen some attention […]

How one Ohio mother is trying to take down the Common Core

By Sarah Butrymowicz

CINCINNATI – The several hundred people that filled the sanctuary of Faith Christian Fellowship Church on the outskirts of Cincinnati on a Monday evening in July murmured their indignation as Heidi Huber blasted a book that taught that homosexuality was normal. The book wouldn’t be important except it had popped up on a Catholic school […]