Common Core is changing how schools teach ELA and math

New report finds Common Core is affecting reading and math — but not test scores

States considered strong adopters of Common Core are more likely to see a de-emphasis of fiction and a decline in advanced math enrollment among middle school students, according to a new report that also found a trivial difference in test scores between states that have and have not adopted the standards.

The report, from the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, pulls data from surveys conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to see how far Common Core recommendations have seeped into states’ instruction, comparing data from 2011 to 2015. The question of whether students should focus on analyzing fiction, which has been traditionally favored by schools, or nonfiction, which is favored by the CCSS, was considered a major implementation hurdle just a few years ago.

On that point, it appears Common Core’s suggestions are winning out over entrenched practice. In 2011, according to the data, 63 percent of students had teachers who said they emphasized fiction, compared with 38 percent of students with teachers who said they were emphasizing nonfiction — a 25 percent gap. By 2015, however, that gap had shrunk to just eight percent, with 45 percent of students who have teachers emphasizing nonfiction. The gap shrunk for eighth grade students from 34 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015.…Read More

The best and worst districts for school choice

New report ranks the districts that cater to school choice…and the ones that don’t

choice-school-districtAccording to a new report, there is little information available on what makes a school district not only suitable for school choice, but what differentiates the districts that are exceptional at catering to parental desires versus those that are simply mediocre. However, thanks to new data, districts across the country have been ranked in how well they cater to choosy parents.

Whether you support or oppose school choice—programs offering students and their families alternatives to publicly provided schools, to which students are generally assigned by the location of their family residence—the movement exists, and thanks to new data provided by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, parents and students now have a much clearer idea of which districts support school choice and which don’t.

According to the authors of the report, the data compiled on districts and school choice was needed, since support among parents, and states, for school choice is growing.…Read More