Common Core

Some Kentucky students working under the umbrella of the recently adopted common core standards are showing signs of faster progression and heightened college and career readiness levels than students in older curriculum models, according to a recent study by the American Institutes for Research.

Zeyu Xu, principal researcher on the study, said the findings should not serve as an “assessment of common core itself.”

As the senior member of the NPR Ed team with 25 years on the education beat, here are the top stories that my expert sources and I believe will be ones to watch in 2015. For more predictions, check out our crowdsourced list.

"In some places, tests — and preparation for them — are dominating the calendar and culture of schools and causing undue stress for students and educators."

The quote comes not from an angry parent or firebrand school leader but from Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Of course, he's the guy currently in charge of a big chunk of those tests: the No Child Left Behind requirement of annual standardized testing in grades 3-8, plus once during grades 10-12.

The last in our four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.


Christian County Public Schools is among the eighteen districts across the state to win an Instructional Transformation Grant from the Kentucky Department of Education.  CCPS will receive $100,000 annually over three years to help teachers implement the Common Core Academic Standards. 

The Politics Of The Common Core

Jun 20, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that he wants to cut ties with the Common Core State Standards, the benchmarks in reading and math that he helped bring to the state four years ago, and replace them with new, Louisiana-specific standards.

"We won't let the federal government take over Louisiana's education standards," Jindal said in a statement. "We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators."

What Does A Good Common Core Lesson Look Like?

Jun 4, 2014

As we're detailing this week, teachers and school leaders have a lot of work to do to adopt curricula aligned with the new Common Core State Standards.

In Kentucky, Moving Beyond Dependence On Tests

Jun 2, 2014

The white, split-rail fences of horse farms line the two-lane road that takes you southwest from Lexington. It's a beautiful half-hour drive to Danville, Ky.

Settled in 1783, the town is proud of its history. In Constitution Square, across Main Street from Burke's Bakery, sits a tiny log cabin that was once the first post office west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Wikimedia Commons

Common Core standards have sustained a blow as one of the nation's largest teachers unions has withdrawn support for the math and english standards. Support for the Common Core in Kentucky is mixed.

American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students' proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, failing to crack the global top 20.

The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, collects test results from 65 countries for its rankings, which come out every three years. The latest results, from 2012, show that U.S. students ranked below average in math among the world's most-developed countries. They were close to average in science and reading.