1. Nearly all states have developed curricular and supplemental materials designed to implement the Common Core Standards, but just 4 of them–DE, KY, OK, and NB–require that districts use such materials.
  2. A longer and shorter version of the Smarter Balanced Common Core test will be available: a) multiple sessions and classroom activities that span almost 6-1/2 hours in grades 3-5, almost 7 hours in grades 6-8, and 8 hours in high school; or b) the original version that lasts 4 hours longer in grades 3-8 and about 5 hours longer in high school.
  3. The Obama administration has allowed states to set different goals for different students, as long as low-performing ones make greater progress. Virginia has set targeted pass rates as follows: 82% for Asian-Americans, 68% for whites, 52% for Hispanics, and 45% for blacks.
  4. The recently settled Chicago teachers strike gives them base salary raises of 3% this year, and 2% for each of the next two. Those raises, plus bumps for experience and the pursuit of graduate degrees, pushes the overall pay raise to 17.% over 4 years. The teachers’ average salary is listed as $76,000.
  5. According to the OECD, the U.S. ranks 28th out of 38 countries for their number of 4-year-olds in pre-primary education programs at 69%; France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Mexico lead with 85%