Posted inElementary to High School

Massachusetts once had the best state test in the country. Will it again?

ARLINGTON, Mass.—As rain poured outside on the chilly evening of February 24, a group of Arlington elementary school parents was imagining a sunnier place — Dorothy’s trip down the yellow brick road. This story also appeared in The Boston Globe “Today you will read and think about the passages ‘Rescue the Tin Woodman’ and ‘Arriving at Emerald […]

Posted inElementary to High School

Public-school tests glitch across state

Twelve thousand Mississippi students spent nearly 20 minutes unable to take their Mississippi Assessment Program tests Wednesday morning. This story also appeared in Jackson Free Press Minneapolis, Minns-based Questar Assessment Inc., the assessment vendor responsible for distributing Mississippi’s state tests, reported a glitch in its program Wednesday. With Questar, students take their end-of-the-year assessments online. […]

Posted inCommon CoreElementary to High SchoolImmigrationNews

Will Common Core undermine an elite college-prep program’s goal of diversity?

As districts across the country brace themselves for low student scores on tough Common Core tests this spring, the staff at Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, Massachusetts, isn’t sweating it. On state assessments, their students have been outperforming peers at other schools — with 10th-graders, for example, ranking first in English language arts, 12th […]

Posted inColumnistsCommon CoreEducation by the NumbersElementary to High SchoolJill Barshay

Academic expectations around the country, updated for Common Core

Last summer I pointed out how wildly different academic expectations were around the country, just before the introduction of the Common Core standards. Some states set the passing marks on their annual standardized tests more than four grade levels behind those of other states. For example, back in 2013, Alabama’s passing mark on its eighth-grade […]

Posted inCommon CoreElementary to High SchoolHigh School ReformNews

The difference between being eligible for college and ready for college

CHICAGO — For Kimberly Wilborn, a lesson about Nelson Mandela made it all click. This story also appeared in The Atlantic “Ms. Plante was talking about Nelson Mandela and how he forgave his jailers,” remembers the eighth grader, who is being raised by her aunt on Chicago’s South Side. “And I thought if he can […]

Posted inCommon CoreElementary to High SchoolNews

As online Common Core tests fail, Tennessee schools face unknown once again

This is the last in a three-part series focused on how the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and accompanying assessments have impacted Kingsport City Schools. This story also appeared in Education Week KINGSPORT, Tenn. — It was just after nine on a Monday morning in early February when Lori Smith, the associate principal […]

Posted inCommon CoreElementary to High SchoolJust InNews

Two studies find Common Core tests make the grade

Ah, spring approaching: warm weather, birds chirping, and a new round of standardized tests tied to the Common Core. Since they were first rolled out three years ago, the tests have been hugely controversial. Parent-led “opt-out” movements have impacted school districts, with as many as 80 percent of students in some districts sitting out the […]

Posted inHigh School ReformHigher EdHigher EducationNews

Many who pass state high school graduation tests show up to college unprepared

Looking back on her junior year at Saint Agnes Academic High School in the College Point neighborhood of Queens, Viktoria Mertiri admits that trigonometry “was the death of me. I never understood it.” This story also appeared in PBS Newshour But Mertiri scored a 70 on the New York Regents Examination, a state standardized test […]

Posted inCommon CoreElementary to High SchoolJust InNews

More state tests are “getting honest” about how few kids are on track for college, but there are outliers

The Common Core has won – at least on one front. The standards and the tests designed based on them were, in part, a response to a growing sense that under the No Child Left Behind law – which penalized schools that weren’t making gains on annual state tests – states were making those tests […]