Teaching & Testing in the Common Core Era

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Overview

Teaching and Testing in the Common Core Era
February 25 & 26 • Los Angeles

Despite persistent political debates, the Common Core State Standards are now a classroom reality in public schools across the country. Yet much is in flux as educators wrestle with how best to teach the Common Core — or their own state’s version of it — and some states rethink the tests tied to the new K-12 standards.

Despite persistent political debates, the Common Core State Standards are now a classroom reality in public schools across the country. Yet much is in flux as educators wrestle with how best to teach the Common Core — or their own state’s version of it — and some states rethink the tests tied to the new K-12 standards.

Join EWA on Feb. 25-26 in Los Angeles for an intensive seminar to make sense of the fast-evolving landscape for teaching and testing in the Common Core era. The stakes are high as many states embark on Year Two of Common Core testing, making year-over-year comparisons possible for the first time.

This two-day event will equip busy reporters with fresh ideas, new tools, and concrete plans to step up their game in covering this major, unfolding change in American education. Journalists will learn from educators, researchers, policy experts and one another about such topics as the nuances of observing classroom instruction and what to expect from the next, crucial round of test results.

Survey data released at the event will provide fresh insights into the experiences and views of teachers and administrators who are putting the standards into practice. In addition, new research findings will reveal where districts and states are turning for new textbooks and other curricular materials pegged to the math and English/language arts standards — often big-ticket spending items with major consequences for the classroom.

The seminar will also raise key questions around assessments. Why have so many states reversed course on common testing? How can reporters explore the quality of the competing assessments states are using? What do we know about the economics of testing and the fierce competition among testing companies? How are revisions in widely used college-entrance exams changing the game?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘Linked Learning’ the Focus of Innovative High School

Principal Dalton Cole of the School of Business and Tourism and Esther Soliman, Linked Learning administrator for LAUSD. (Gail Robinson for EWA)

Like many of their counterparts across the country, 10th graders at the School of Business and Tourism, part of the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex near downtown Los Angeles, read To Kill a Mockingbird. But they also read the works of self-help writer Dale Carnegie. Eleventh graders study The Great Gatsby but earlier in the year they pondered Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What Does Common Core Teaching Look Like?

Flickr/Laurie Sullivan

When the communications office in the Huntsville (Ala.) City Schools calls English teacher Stephanie Hyatt to say a TV reporter is coming to observe her class, Hyatt knows the drill. She’s expected to stand in front of the room and lecture at students in picturesque fashion.

“That’s my job — to look exciting,” said Hyatt. “They like me, because I teach with my hands.”

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Why Tracking Textbooks Should Matter

(Flickr/ocegep)

Textbooks can have a tremendous effect on what children learn, and an upcoming  analysis from a University of Southern California researcher seeks to find out which books are in use in five large states.

But it’s hard to say which books are in use in which schools.

Multimedia

Testing Pushback: Where Does It Stand? Where Is It Headed?
Teaching and Testing in the Common Core Era

Statewide standardized testing is facing strong criticism and public backlash; witness the opt-out movement that led many families in New York and elsewhere to skip Common Core exams last year. Will the opt-out campaign gain more adherents this spring? How are states responding to concerns about tests and their use? Will newfound federal flexibility spark further change?

Information

Scholarship Steps for the L.A. Seminars

EWA is able to provided limited travel scholarships to qualified members. Scholarships may be able to cover or reimburse your costs to attend the seminar. Scholarships are granted first come, first served.