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Posts tagged ‘Common Core’

High School Assessment Working Group Votes Unanimously to Eliminate SBAC for 11th Graders

Members of the High School Assessment Working Group heard from SAT and ACT representatives at a meeting in December.

Members of the High School Assessment Working Group heard from SAT and ACT representatives at a meeting in December.

Connecticut’s High School Assessment Working Group late yesterday afternoon voted unanimously to eliminate the 11th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, and restore precious teaching and learning time for students.

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, who represents the Association on the working group said, “This is a positive step forward. It will restore much needed instructional time to engage, energize, and excite our students and reveal new possibilities and opportunities. The unanimous vote by stakeholders reduces the number of high-stakes standardized tests students are required to take while still meeting the standards established for our students in 11th grade.”

In addition to SBAC, many high school juniors take a considerable number of tests in a short amount of time, including the SATs and AP exams, and wonder what the value is in having to take the SBAC, too.

The working group will make its recommendation to the governor and legislature to eliminate SBAC and replace it with a nationally recognized college readiness assessment that students are already taking, such as the SAT or the ACT. The recommendation will also outline the need for the new assessment to be adequately funded, in compliance with federal law, and provide accommodations for students with special needs.

“This option allows us to examine the best assessment for all students in the state,” said Waxenberg.

The group plans to work through the summer to decide upon the best assessment to replace SBAC.

Time and Resources Continue as Themes at Common Core Task Force Meeting

Litchfield Superintendent Wheeler presented to the State Common Core Task Force yesterday.

Litchfield Superintendent Deborah Wheeler presented to the State Common Core Task Force yesterday.

“Time has been the most significant challenge,” Litchfield Superintendent Deborah Wheeler, told the State Common Core Implementation Task Force. “It’s been a lot of decision making in a short amount of time, which has been very stressful.”

Wheeler was one of the presenters, who also included assistant superintendents from Stamford, at the task force’s meeting yesterday evening. The group is charged with making recommendations, due June 30, to improve implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Although Litchfield and Stamford are almost as different as two Connecticut districts can be, their presentations to the task force yesterday highlighted some of the same challenges and supports along the path to implementation. Read more

Norwich Administrators Stress the Importance of Time and Money in Common Core Implementation

Norwich administrators Kristie and Joe spoke to the state's Common Core Task Force at a meeting today in Cromwell.

Norwich administrators Kristie Bourdoulous and Joe Stefon spoke to the state’s Common Core Task Force at a meeting today in Cromwell.

This year it has cost the Norwich Public Schools approximately $1.5 million to implement the Common Core State Standards (CSSS) in the city’s K-8 system.

This money has come from state funds Norwich has received as an Alliance School District and from other grants, according to Joe Stefon, Norwich’s curriculum and instruction director. He presented late this afternoon to members of Connecticut’s new CCSS Task Force, which is striving to come up with actionable and specific recommendations to improve the CCSS rollout. Read more

Common Core Implementation Task Force Takes First Steps

CCSS task force meetingCommon Core and the challenges districts are facing when it comes to implementation continue to be in the spotlight here in Connecticut. Yesterday the state’s Common Core Task Force, charged with making recommendations for improving the quality and consistency of Common Core implementation efforts, met for the first time in Middletown — taking a first step down the road toward making Common Core implementation consistently successful for Connecticut students.

The task force, made up of teachers, administrators, parents, board of education members, and State Department of Education officials, laid the groundwork for future meetings and introduced themselves to one another.

Stonington teacher Bruce Yarnall told other task force members that he thinks there are good aspects to the Common Core, “but we need to approach cautiously.” Read more

Teachers Tell Education Committee About Common Core, Teacher Evaluation Concerns

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg and President Sheila Cohen testify before the legislature's Education Committee.

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg and President Sheila Cohen testify before the legislature’s Education Committee.

Educators around the state have been facing a challenging year due to the botched implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the challenges related to simultaneously implementing a new teacher evaluation system. Last night some educators had a chance to make their voices heard on these issues at a hearing of the legislature’s Education Committee, which drew over 100 people to Hartford to testify and over 300 to submit written testimony.

CEA President Sheila Cohen and CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg were among those who gave testimony at the hearing. They shared a survey highlighting the differing levels of readiness and preparedness of teachers and districts across the state with regard to implementing CCSS. They told legislators, “let’s pause and make sure we get this right.” Read their prepared testimony here. Read more

No Time to Waste: CEA Urges Action to Address Botched CCSS Rollout

Saying time is of the essence, CEA today urged the new Connecticut Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Working Group* to convene immediately with teachers playing a central role in addressing the botched implementation of the CCSS in Connecticut classrooms.

“Our students can’t afford to wait. There’s no redo for them when precious teaching and learning time is lost to problems connected with CCSS implementation,” said CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg.

At a news conference today in Hartford, Waxenberg shared with reporters CEA’s specific recommendations about the group’s charge. Read more

NEA Course Correction on Common Core

By CEA President Sheila Cohen

In a letter to members, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel has called for a course correction when it comes to Common Core, saying that “implementation has been completely botched.” This message from NEA reinforces what we here in Connecticut have already been saying, based on extensive conversations with members. NEA has listened and responded to our concerns and the issues raised by Connecticut teachers.

As the problems with the roll out of Common Core are highlighted on the national stage, we hope that lawmakers, especially in the Connecticut General Assembly, will continue to listen to teachers and respond to the important concerns they have raised. Our students and their educations must always come first, and policymakers should not move forward unless they can guarantee students won’t be harmed or shortchanged. Read more

Don’t Go Full Speed Ahead Into the Unknown with Common Core

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg today appeared on a WNPR program that touched on education reform issues from teacher evaluation to Common Core. Photo by Chion Wolf/WNPR.

“Good teaching is not measured by a student test score. That is the road we are going down and it should be abandoned.” That was one of the many emphatic comments CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg made this morning while appearing on WNPR’s “Where We Live” radio program.

Waxenberg called for a “course correct” when it comes to Common Core. “We need an examination of the appropriateness of the standards,” he said. Read more

Common Core Forum for Parents, Students, Teachers, and Community Members

Common Core Community ForumBuild relationships with parents, students, and community members and establish a shared understanding of the Common Core at a forum Saturday, Jan. 25, at Cromwell High School. Read more

CEA Offering Workshops on Teacher Evaluation and Common Core

Fall-2013-PPPR-WorkshopsTeachers have a lot on their plates every year, and this year you are also implementing a new educator evaluation system and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It’s a lot to keep up with.

CEA is holding workshops around the state this October to make sure you have the information you need. Come with your questions about implementing the evaluation system and the CCSS, and we’ll also address other issues that will impact teachers this year.

To register for one of the workshops below, click here and sign in with your member ID number. If you don’t know your member ID, you can look it up here.

Registration for all workshops will begin at 4:00 p.m., and the program will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Monday, October 7

  • New Haven County – Cascades, Hamden

Tuesday, October 8

  • Fairfield County – The Trumbull Marriott
  • Tolland County– Georgina’s, Bolton

Wednesday, October 9

  • Hartford County – Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill
  • New London County – The Spa at the Norwich Inn, Norwich

Thursday, October 10

  • Litchfield County – Crystal Peak, Winchester
  • New Haven County – Heritage Hotel, Southbury

Thursday, October 24

  • Fairfield County – The Italian Center of Stamford