Seminar Agenda:
Washington, DC

Dec. 15, 2014 – The George Washington University, Center on Education Policy

Seminar Program
(Presentation slides are linked to the presenter’s name)

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

8:30 – 8:40 a.m.

  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association

8:40 – 9:40 a.m.
Taking Political Stock of the Common Core

It’s no secret that the standards and forthcoming tests have drawn increasingly strong criticism over the past year. Why has the Common Core become so controversial? What will the midterm election results mean for implementation and state support? And what happens in states that call for a review or even rescind the standards? Will much really change?

  • Michael Brickman, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Carol Burris, South Side High School (Rockville Center, N.Y.)
  • Carmel Martin, Center on American Progress
  • Michael McShane, American Enterprise Institute
  • Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week (moderator)

9:40 – 10:30 a.m.
Surveys: What Educators and the Public Are Saying About Common Core

Lots of recent surveys have sought to gauge support by educators and the public for the standards and testing. Learn what the sometimes conflicting results reveal. And find out where district-level implementation of the Common Core stands, based on extensive national polling of school district officials.

  • Maria Ferguson, Center on Education Policy
  • Diane Stark Rentner, Center on Education Policy
  • Erik Robelen, Education Writers Association (moderator)

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

10:45 – 12:00 p.m.
Common Core in Action

Educators talk about their experiences on the ground with the Common Core standards and a researcher shares insights from a study of how new math standards are changing teaching and learning in the classroom.

  • Brian Pick, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Linda Hanson, Arlington (Mass.) school district; Arlington Education Association
  • William Schmidt, Michigan State University
  • Jonathan Wray, Howard County (Md.) Public Schools
  • Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks (moderator)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
How They Did It: Journalists Share Their Stories

The Hechinger Report and NPR Education are diving deeply into the Common Core. Learn more about their strategies for bringing the rollout of the standards to life, from covering debates over textbooks to the challenge of better preparing teachers and figuring out what makes a good Common Core math problem.

  • Sarah Garland, The Hechinger Report
  • Cory Turner, NPR Education
  • Kavitha Cardoza, WAMU (moderator)

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Scenarios for Covering Standards and Testing

Reporters team up in small groups to strategize on the most effective ways to cover a set of news developments related to the Common Core standards and assessments.

  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Making Sense of the Evolving Assessment Landscape

This school year marks the first time that most states will test students on the Common Core. At the same time, many states have backed away from their plans to use shared assessments and are choosing their own tests. Where do the states stand? How different will their new exams be from prior tests? And what are key questions reporters should keep in mind as they cover the first round of test results?

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Your Turn: Brainstorming Story Ideas

A veteran national education journalist leads an interactive session in which participants work together to develop a list of compelling and consequential stories on standards and testing to produce for their audiences in the months to come.

  • Steve Drummond, NPR Education