Common Core Standards

Is STEM Education in Permanent Crisis?

By Michael Marder-EdWeek In 1983, “A Nation at Risk” raised grave concerns that America’s schools, particularly in the academic area we now call STEM, were damaging the country’s ability to compete. “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war,” warned the report from a federally appointed commission. Twenty-two years later, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” a report from the National Academy of Sciences, leveled a similar charge: “[O]ur overall public school system—or more accurately 14,000 systems—has shown little sign of …

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GEAR UP Regional Leadership Forums Make Strides

  Developed to meet the diverse and complex needs of California GEAR UP middle schools, the 2015 Spring Regional Leadership Events provide a forum for school teams to problem solve together and learn from each other about school practices, challenges and solutions.  The events were designed to build on the progress made at the Fall events and were facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content designed to respond to the needs of each unique middle school community in their region. Activities were customized to engage and support participating schools within each region aligned with target areas of growth identified in the School Self …

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Getting to the Core with GEAR UP

In the fall of 2013, the California Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) convened school teams from 48 middle schools serving predominantly low-income students in three locations to learn more about academic rigor and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). With the help of representatives from College Board — a program partner — participants viewed a model English Language Arts (ELA) lesson that is aligned to CCSS and practiced using instructional strategies that engage students across all curriculum areas. In the spring and fall of 2014, the California GEAR UP Program offered a variety of interactive, …

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Bay Area Regional Leadership Institute Oct 7-8, 2014

The intention of this event is to bring Bay Area GEARUP schools together for two days of professional development, learning and exchange of ideas to build greater communication, collaboration and success towards building a College Going Culture at each of your schools this year. Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, October 7th & 8th 7:30am – 4:00pm Location: Mills College – Carnegie Hall, Oakland  Theme: “Achieving Social Justice and Equity through Common Core strategies to Ignite Student Success” Outcomes: Deepening our understanding and facilitation of Common Core Strategies Enhancing communications between Gear Up Schools, Partners and Community Based Organizations Best practices and learning …

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State Board Commends Higher Ed Common Core Approach

In an unprecedented action, the four systems of higher education announced their endorsement of Common Core standards and have engaged in a comprehensive, coordinated approach for implementation that links the K-12 system with higher education on standards, assessments and teacher training. The leaders of the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, and Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities outlined their endorsement of Common Core standards in a letter to the State Board of Education. The announcement is part of the California State Board of Education’s National Governors Association grant for K-12/higher education collaboration. “This endorsement reinforces …

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New Online Toolkit to Help Educators Explain Common Core

  SACRAMENTO—Educators and school districts now have a new free toolkit to help them spread the word about how the Common Core State Standards are remodeling California’s education system to better prepare students for college and careers, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today. “As students and teachers head back to school they will be experiencing exciting changes in California education, including a new way of teaching and learning through the Common Core,” Torlakson said. “Now educators have additional help in dispelling the mystery and concerns of families about this transition with a new communications toolkit created with the …

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New Generation Assessments Set to Launch

California Schools Set to Launch Trial Run of New Generation of Assessments              LOS ANGELES—The Smarter Balanced Field Test will launch Tuesday, marking an important milestone in California’s transition to a new assessment system as it assesses technological capacity and the quality of test questions, and helps students and teachers prepare for next year’s first operational test, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today. “Over the next three months, students, teachers, and administrators will gain valuable hands-on experience in a new era of student assessments,” Torlakson said. “With more than three million students participating, this is the largest …

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Access, Equity, and Common Core: GEAR UP Forums

California GEAR UP concluded their 2014 state-wide Leadership Forums with the theme “Social Justice and Equity: Common Core State Standards”.  Jorge Aguilar (pictured above) Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational and Community Partnerships at the University of California, Merced was the keynote speaker. His lecture was focused on ‘Advancing the Golden Rule Through Common Core State Standards’, which looked at the opportunity and obligation provided  by the common core state standards centered around  the notion that we will be able to measure  “college and career” readiness  through grade level assessments. His key question was: “How do we measure  whether ALL  students benefit from this …

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SAT Redesigns Admissions Test, Drops Essay

Creators of the SAT exam announced plans Wednesday to toughen the test in the face of stagnant national scores, planning to challenge students to provide more analysis, cite evidence and even turn in their calculators before answering some math questions. The new version will be first administered in 2016. “It is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road to success is not last-minute tricks or cramming but the challenging learning students do every day,” said David Coleman, president of the non-profit College Board, which produces the SAT, originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Skeptics questioned …

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Torlakson Announces New Online Tools for Educators

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New Online Tools for Educators SACRAMENTO—Educators across California, from those who work with the state’s youngest learners to those in high school classrooms, can use several free online professional development tools created by the California Department of Education (CDE), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today. The CDE is continuing to develop these resources as the state asks its educators to re-emphasize college and career readiness for their students. A series of Professional Learning Modules (PLMs), for example, is designed to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards. Each of the 13 modules focuses …

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