WakeEd

The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill gives "early warning" on new state results

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Speaking of tests, new Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill gave an “early warning” that state test scores won’t look so great this year.

The state tests were changed this past school year to reflect the new common core state standards. This means that the passing rates will be much lower than in 2011-12 under the prior curriculum.

“We do not expect those scores to be good,” Merrill said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “I don’t think anyone in the state is excited about what they anticipate those scores will be.”

Merrill said that it would be “inaccurate” to compare the new results under the “more rigorous” common core standards with the prior tests. He gave an analogy.

“We were measuring time based on a sprint,” Merrill said. “Now we will measure time based on a steeplechase. And you can not compare the times because the two kinds of races are completely different.”

Merrill said this year’s results should be considered the benchmark year that Wake will build and grow on.

State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson gave a similar warning about the test results when she met with reporters Aug. 12.

Former Wake Superintendent Tony Tata made similar remarks during his “State of the Schools” speech in August 2012.

1377128211 Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill gives "early warning" on new state results The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Race to the Top

Common Core was adopted as part of a plan that was created to get money from the Race to the Top program which is a competitive grant program. It is a US Dept. of Education program but not stimulus money. The stimulus money for education ran out several years ago and was not tied to any specific changes to policy at the state level.

They're sure making a lot of excuses of late

It doesn't sound like a school system that can justify why the voters should come to their rescue with bond support to me.

Isn't the reason that NC was changed to Common Core because Puddin' Perdue accepted stimulus money that had this crap tied in with it?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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