Last Words

January 15, 2016 — Volume 36 Issue 1

ME legislators hear conflicting view on tests

In the midst of anti-testing and anti-Common Core sentiment across the nation, the Legislature’s Education Committee heard testimony on whether Maine should drop the five-year-old Common Core math and English standards and delay statewide testing for a year while it switches to a new test. ( )

RI responds to federal threat over PARCC testing

Rhode Island’s Department of Education responded to a warning from the U.S. Department of Education that the state could face sanctions for failing to have 95 percent of all its students take a standardized test. (Providence Journal, Jan. 11 - )

MD may cut standardized test requirements

Maryland’s teachers union hopes to convince lawmakers to pass a bill limiting standardized testing to just 2 percent of total classroom time. (NPR, Jan. 11 )   ) 


"No one wants advice - only corroboration." - John Steinbeck (1902 –1968), U.S. author of 27 books, including 16 novels,6 non-fiction books, and 5 collections of short stories. His Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is widely attributed to be part of the American literary canon and is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece. He is the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature. Set in southern and central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region, his works frequently explored the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.

“Over the past year, the delivery of public education in West Virginia has been used as a political football by members of both parties. It’s disappointing. It’s unacceptable. And it’s a disservice to our kids.”  -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

“I do anticipate that we will move forward with legislation that will codify the repeal of Common Core, set in place a thoughtful process by which solid standards can be created and adopted that will gain the confidence of West Virginians and also address many of the concerns associated with testing, which, of course, has been a major concern among parents and other across the state.”  -- House Education Chairman Paul Espinosa

“While there are a number of reasons why traditional charter schools are not the best option for our students, we can find common ground by rewarding schools for innovation and creativity while raising student achievement. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to restructure the current Innovation Zone system to establish a new program – called Innovation in Education.”

“At a time when our state is in real problems financially, I think that trying to resurrect this revenue horse yet one more time will prove to be somewhat costly, at least in terms of our time.” – Delegate Don Perdue, expressing his opposition to having the legislature consider another charter schools bill

“Under my leadership of the Division of Teaching and Learning for the last 18 months…there have not been the mass trainings that were seen in the past. This policy is driving professional learning to the schools.” – Clayton Burch, chief academic officer at the Department of Education, on the decentralization of professional development, now called “professional learning.”