Roundup: CA Test Score Results, Nevada Voucher Challenge

Less Than Half of CA Students Made the Grade on New Common Core-Aligned Test Slate: A total of 12 million students in 29 states took some version of these new Common Core-based assessments developed by Smarter Balanced and PARCC this year. See also EdSource Today, LA School Report, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

2016 Candidates Slam Common Core, But Education Standards Take Root Reuters: Despite years of effort, Common Core’s critics have largely failed to repeal the standards, which aim to emphasize critical thinking over rote memorization.

New online credential program aims to turn out 10,000 new teachers in the next five years Hechinger Report: Students take online classes with 15 or fewer students and work through a sequence of individual online modules, instead of taking several different classes at the same time. Classroom observations, projects and school-based experiences, like tutoring, are integrated throughout the curriculum, and all aspiring teachers must complete a 12-week module of student teaching at the end of the certification program.

These 16 States Are Implementing Plans To Make Sure Good Teachers End Up In Poor Communities HuffPost: A state plan approved Thursday by the Department of Education seeks to reverse these disparities in Missouri. Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin also had educator equity plans approved. More will be implemented in other states on a rolling basis. See also Washington Post

Arne Duncan visits Harper College, praises scholarship program Chicago Tribune:  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised officials at Harper College in Palatine on Wednesday, saying the northwest suburban college’s new scholarship program is reflective of a White House initiative to make community colleges nationwide tuition-free.

Seattle Teachers to Stay off Picket Line on 9/11 Anniversary AP: Striking teachers say pay gap created by influx of tech workers makes Seattle tough to afford. See also Seattle Times.

Nevada’s new school voucher program faces second legal challenge Washington Post: Five parents filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing that the new voucher program is unconstitutional because it diverts money from public to private schools. The complaint comes just days after the American Civil Liberties Union sued to stop the voucher program on the grounds that it violates the state constitution’s prohibition on using taxpayer dollars for religious purposes.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.