by Timothy Shanahan
University of Illinois at Chicago
July 10, 2013
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is the biggest curriculum reform of my lifetime. My own assessment of the standards is that they represent a big improvement over past standards, though there are niggling problems—the kinds of things that one can easily critique but which would likely make little or no difference in kids’ learning if “improved.” Nevertheless, the CCSS is now under fire by “grass roots” conservatives or “right wing fringe” groups (which description to use depends on your political perspective).
by P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley
and Virginia Goatley, University of Albany
July 2, 2013
The June 17 release of the National Council for Teacher Quality report on the state of teacher education in the United States, dubbed Teacher Prep Review, has prompted numerous responses from the educational research and policy community. Most of the responses focus on the numerous flaws in the methodology used to collect and analyze evidence about the quality of the more than 1100 teacher education programs the NCTQ tried to evaluate (AACTE, 2013; NCTE, 2013; Darling-Hammond, 2013).
by Catherine E. Snow
Harvard Graduate School of Education
June 6, 2013
Over the last 18 months I have had the chance to review a couple dozen proposed curricular units, developed by district teams or other groups, and designed to prepare students to meet the Common Core State Standards (or, more specifically, to pass the assessments aligned with the Common Core). I have been simultaneously impressed by the quality of the tasks assigned to students in those units, and dismayed by the lack of attention to providing any justification to the students for why they should undertake such difficult tasks.
by Peter Freebody
The University of Sydney
April 25, 2013
We ask: 'How can different types of research can be useful in guiding us in setting policy and shaping classroom practice?' But there is a prior question: 'Why, after so much research on literacy education, do we feel that we have not 'set policy' or 'shaped classroom practice' to our satisfaction?' Why is there a sense of disappointment on this count among researchers, policy-makers, and teachers?
by John Guthrie
University of Maryland
April 15, 2013
The common core state standards (CCSS) are bringing a sea change in reading and writing. Designers of the new standards, educational administrators, and teachers all say the CCSS will require new reading skills. Calling for more complex text, the standards immediately raise the difficulty of the materials in the classroom. Beyond the texts, the standards call for reading as reasoning. Merely recognizing words, or being fluent at reading aloud, is not enough. Students need to think deeply to answer high level questions.
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