The past few weeks I’ve heard on numerous occasions about the teachers unions ‘opposition’ to Common Core as if it’s just an obvious fact. I’m not sure where this is coming from, but overall they’re not opposed, they’re on board with the new standards and in some places/ways trying to help on the implementation – which is a huge challenge and if done haphazardly is going to turn a lot of teachers against the standards. Plenty of issues to iron out down the road around accountability, innovation and technology and so forth but the standards themselves are not a flashpoint with them.
The cheating on the Praxis test that is now bursting into the news cycle is not the scandal here, people cheat on a lot of tests. The real scandal is the low-level of the Praxis test and why it continues to be used at all. The Praxis II is different, but the basic Praxis is much too low a bar given what we expect of teachers.
New CREDO analysis of charter school performance in New Jersey (pdf) is significant for three reasons. First, like Massachusetts, New York City, and other places where charters outperform it’s a reminder that different places are having different experiences with charters and a lot of that can be traced to public policy choices. The overall national data is not that useful given the diversity. Second the urban results are noteworthy in the New Jersey political context. Finally, charters are now expanding in New Jersey, worth watching to see if the state can balance growth and quality as it expands the sector.