A student at Townsend Elementary in the Appoquinimink school district in Delaware taking a computer-based test. (Photo by Sarah Garland)

Students are test-driving new Common Core exams. You can too

By Sarah Garland

Millions of American students this spring are piloting new online standardized tests linked to the Common Core State Standards, which will debut next year in states that have adopted the standards. The main reason for the trial run is to see if computer systems are ready to handle millions of students logging on to take […]

Belle Chasse Primary School 4th graders Zachary Davis, left, Bella Gross, Julianna Shipp, Nickolas Farrington, Cody Gaubert, Dante Compton, Emily Hotard, and Matthew LaRoche listen to Mary Beth Newchurch as they look over a reading passage from their writer's binders to determine if the passage was written in First, Second, or Third Person point of view in Belle Chasse, La. Thursday, April 3, 2014. (Photo: MATTHEW HINTON/Advocate)

Common Core has students writing — on just about every subject

By Sarah Carr

In the early elementary school grades, Zachary Davis and his classmates at Belle Chasse Primary School in suburban New Orleans wrote almost entirely from personal experience: describing their ideal vacation, trying to convince readers that a longer school year would be a good (or bad) idea, penning a letter about their adventures during summer break.

Joshua Bleiberg

Four reasons that critics of Common Core should reconsider their opposition

By Joshua Bleiberg

In our recent report “In Defense of the Common Core Standards,” Darrell West and I mounted a fresh defense of education standards. Standards have suffered through attacks from both liberals and conservatives who express various complaints about the Common Core. To better understand standards, we looked at evidence from other sectors and found that if […]


Why is this Common Core math problem so hard? Supporters respond to quiz that went viral

By Sarah Garland

It may be the first time a math problem has gone viral on the Internet. A frustrated father posted a subtraction problem from his second-grade son’s math quiz on Facebook this week with a note to the teacher calling it ridiculous. Conservative pundits, including Glenn Beck, seized on it as evidence that the new standards […]

Photo by Helran

New Common Core exams will test whether a robo-grader is as accurate as a human

By Jill Barshay

Millions of elementary, middle and high school students in 14 states and Washington, D.C. may have their essays graded by computers next year if initial tests of robo-grading prove to be accurate. A multi-state consortium known as PARCC that is developing the tests said it hoped to use essay-grading software as soon as Spring 2015, […]

Sixth grade students at Dixie Attendance Center discuss myths during a group activity. (Photo: Jackie Mader)

In rural Mississippi, a district copes with Common Core changes

By Jackie Mader

Mississippi is one of the 45 states that has adopted the education standards known as Common Core. For the first time, students across the county will have the same education goals in math and English. In August, every teacher in Mississippi will teach Common Core. The Hechinger Report’s Jackie Mader visited rural Forrest County to […]

Andria Finch

New York teacher speaks out: “A moratorium on the Common Core Standards frightens me”

By Andria Finch

When it comes to the debates around the Common Core State Standards and how best to educate our children, I have a unique perspective: I am a parent of school-aged children, a high school English teacher, and an adjunct college instructor. Every day, through these lenses, I am reminded of how important the Common Core […]

Jennifer Curley

New York’s ‘shoddy’ Common Core rollout puts special-needs students at risk; a veteran teacher demands a moratorium

By Jennifer Curley

My mother died suddenly last month and my father is in prison.  There are five of us now from 8 to 17 years old who are essentially orphaned. We were just evicted and now I’m sleeping on my grandmother’s floor along with my mother, her boyfriend, my four brothers and our two dogs. It is […]

Monroe Middle School teacher Christina Phillips tells her students how to identify claims, evidence and commentary in what they’re reading. Phillips says Common Core requires students to use the content of texts in order to build a written argument. (Photo: John O'Connor)

For transient, high-needs students, Florida teachers see Common Core as an anchor

By John O'Connor

Monroe Middle School teacher Dawn Norris hears a difference in her language arts classes since she starting using Common Core standards two years ago. It’s how the 13-year teacher knows the new standards are working.

Teacher Mark McKinley helps 3rd grader Madeline Lasher make a pentagonal prism using pipe cleaners and straws at Black Butte Elementary School in Shasta County. McKinley is enrolled in a program to train teachers in Common Core math. (Photo: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource)

Effective teacher training critical to success of Common Core math

By Lillian Mongeau

The quality of teacher training will be crucial to the success of the new Common Core State Standards in math, educators say, and the pressure is on districts to give elementary school teachers the skills they’ll need to provide students with a firm foundation in early arithmetic.