Common Core State Standards

Common Core Reading: 'The New Colossus'

Nov 11, 2014

Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...

The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

A coalition of teachers and their supporters marched through downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon to the headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The local branch of a national organization that calls itself the Badass Teachers Association was protesting the education reform efforts the Gates Foundation has generously funded, from charter schools to the new Common Core State Standards.

Flickr Photo/John Girton (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with Washington Post reporter Lyndsey Layton about how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded and built political support for Common Core academic standards in more than 40 states.

The Common Core Curriculum Void

Jun 3, 2014

Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds sits down with KUOW's education reporter Ann Dornfeld to talk about the new changes to learning standards in Washington state public schools.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

As school districts across Washington integrate the new Common Core State Standards in reading and math into their curricula, some kindergarten teachers say the standards are squeezing out other important lessons that young children need to succeed in school – and life.

What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?

"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?

"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.

No, my vote is for "standardized test."

That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.

Supporters of the new Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.

A bill introduced in the state Legislature this week calls for a study into how much student data is being released without families’ knowledge or consent.

Candidate Websites

One of the hottest races on Seattle’s fall ballot isn't for mayor or city council, but a seat on the Seattle School Board.