CCSSI Update July 2016

Nevada PTA Events

Alabama PTA has been conducting “Why PTA is Still Relevant” workshops across the great state of Alabama. They are covering a variety of topics including advocacy, membership and Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards. The workshops have been held in Huntsville and Montgomery and two additional workshops are planned for Mobile and Tuscaloosa.

I was thrilled to see a huge turnout of administrators at the Montgomery event! Excellent job team!

Colorado PTA has expanded their online presence with the addition of a new blog website and a new Facebook page.

Both sites are specifically for conversations around the Colorado Academic Standards.

Please check out their pages and be sure to “like” them!   and

Nevada PTA has been super busy as well! In addition to their ongoing summer leadership trainings throughout the state, their Learning Hero & CCSS grants and, of course, their ongoing planning for National PTA Annual Convention 2017, they are heavily involved in targeting media as part of their efforts to educate the community about Nevada Academic Standards and aligned assessments. Most recently Dave Flatt, President NV PTA was interviewed on ABC The Morning Blend discussing Be a Learning Hero’s resources and Nevada Academic Standards and assessments.


National Update


As you know we just wrapped up the National PTA Annual Convention in Orlando. It was fantastic seeing so many of you there! The CCSSI team had a lot going on at convention; we could not have been successful without the effort all of you put into our workshops, meetings and information booth.  Thank you so much for making our efforts a huge success!

Our Standards & Assessment – How to Engage and Empower Families workshop presented by Becky Vansant, AL PTA; Rose Acerra, NJ PTA; Dave Flatt, NV PTA & Debbie Tidwell, OH PTA was well attended and a huge success. The panel provided excellent information and fielded a lot of questions! A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of our presenters!!!!

The CCSSI team was very fortunate to be awarded a second Learning First Alliance (LFA) grant that allows us to offer states a stipend to host workshops on Advocacy, Standards or Assessments. We held the training for the grant recipients at National PTAs convention for the 20 individuals selected for the funding. We were very fortunate to have Gavin Payne from the Gates Foundation & Linda Kearschner, FL PTA serve as presenters for the training. The attendees received the information needed to go back to their communities and conduct a workshop.

Each year we coordinate a meeting of our CCSSI teams with the Gavin Payne from the Gates Foundation. These meetings allow Gavin to hear directly from you on the issues that are important to your members. The information you provide is extremely valuable for driving the efforts of the foundation. As always, Gavin was super impressed with all of you! He just could not say enough about how amazing all of you are!

Our partners at Be a Learning Hero were a valuable addition our National PTA convention! In addition to being a sponsor, providing convention T-shirts and hosting an information booth they also conducted a rise & shine workshop that was heavily attended despite the early morning time slot. We give a huge THANK YOU to everyone at Learning Hero’s for being such a great partner!

CCSS Partners Update

Common Core in the K-8 Classroom: Results from the National Survey

Read the latest Fordham report here.

“The data here are mostly encouraging, even as they give us plenty of ideas for how to do better. If most teachers are implementing the standards, as they claim, we should expect to see improvements in student achievement going forward. Teachers are weary of the pendulum swings in schools; we must show more patience with the Common Core than we’ve shown in the past. Let’s actually see this thing through.”


Fordham Institute Webcast:  Thursday, July 14th 4:00 EDT

While teachers have begun to embrace Common Core math, parents (as perceived by teachers) seem less enamored. Eighty-five percent of instructors report that parents misunderstand the new methods and are less likely to reinforce math learning at home. What can we do to support parents and children during Common Core implementation?  Are policy makers and advocates paying enough attention to their concerns now that much of the Common Core uproar has passed? This event will be webcast. Visit their website,, at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 14 to watch the proceedings live.

Information and Resources

New Resource from Latino Policy Forum: Common Core State Standards and Assessment Guide
Latino Policy Forum developed a Common Core State Standards and Assessment Resource Guide as part of its workshops for immigrant parents. The guide is available in English and in Spanish.

New Report from SCALE and Understanding Language: Evaluating Item Quality in Large-Scale Assessments
Stanford University’s Center on Assessment, Learning, & Equity and Understanding Language released a detailed report that recommends how states should evaluate the quality of their assessments, especially in light of ESSA’s requirements and flexibilities.

Chalkbeat Article: “Lawmakers wanted to know how unique Tennessee’s testing problems were. Here’s the answer.
The Tennessee Office of Research and Education Accountability, a division of the state comptroller’s office, created a report showing how online testing unfolded in other states, including an interactive map that highlights which states also had major glitches in the first year of testing. Nearly a dozen states—including Tennessee—experienced technical issues with online tests, and nearly a dozen—also including Tennessee—opted to switch vendors after only one year of testing. The full report and map are available here.

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