The following resources focus on the educational climate and betterment of those serving the K–12 educational community.

Why Proficiency Matters:
 Inconsistencies in academic expectations can produce wide discrepancies in what students learn from state to state, leaving some students at a disadvantage. Likewise, low “cut scores,” or proficiency benchmarks, can undermine the value of high-quality assessments. “Setting the academic bar at proficiency ensures students are on track for college or a career after graduation,” the site explains.

Common Core Math: What are We Afraid of? Mathematical approaches to problem-solving encouraged by the Common Core help learners conceptualize the relationship between numbers, which “is actually the way most people would probably solve [a problem],” David Powell writes for Education Week. “There’s nothing scary about it.” Read the full commentary.

NAESP and NASSP’s action alert on SLRSP serves as a really helpful tool that can be used by individual school leaders to send a message directly to their Senators and Representatives.

Research on Career Pathways: As postsecondary credentials have become increasingly important to accessing higher-quality employment, a growing number of education and workforce programs are implementing “career pathways” approaches to help both youth and adults prepare for further education and better jobs. This brief describes the career pathways approach and profiles projects that shed light on its effectiveness and potential to improve education and career outcomes. (Source: MDRC).

Florida backs competency education programs: 
Four Florida school districts and a laboratory school at the University of Florida would have more freedom to explore competency-based education under a bill now headed Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. (RedfinED, March 10).

Florida funding lawsuit goes to court. A lawsuit arguing the State Board of Education and Legislature have failed to meet educational standards of the Constitution is expected to go to court. Plaintiffs say lawmakers have inadequately funded public schools and given financial preference to charter and private schools. Learn more about constitutional language and how it affects public schools in this recent Education Commission of the States report(Gainesville Sun, March 13).

Low-Income Students Left Out of Illinois Gifted Programs: Report. (Catalyst Chicago – March 17). A Chicago education organization released research showing that students who are low-income, black or Latino are significantly under-represented in gifted programs in school districts across the state.

Social Emotional: The New York TimesKate Zernike and NPRed write about how a few schools in California are going to begin testing social-emotional skills and the potential for including tests like these under the Every Student Succeeds Act changes to testing.