What the heck is Common Core? - 02/26/14

 Common Core is all about changing education in Tennessee. Not everybody is aware that Common Core standards are already being implemented in Tennessee schools. And the first Common Core standardized tests -- PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) -- are scheduled to begin next school year.
  I suspect everybody favors improving public schools in Tennessee, and so did Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, in 2009 when he committed the state's educational system to it. And so does Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican. But as parents and teachers await the first PARCC tests this fall, they're getting nervous. From the sample tests I've seen, the PARCC tests will certainly require a higher level of performance by students versus the standardized TCAP tests. (The new tests will only replace the Math and Language Arts portion of TCAP.)
  At Fox17.com I took a look at what Common Core is, what the arguments are against it, and give some sample questions from TCAP and PARCC.
http://fox17.com/news/features/this-morning/stories/common-core-arguments-against-it-330.shtml


 

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GIANT EARTHWORMS RETURN

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) -- Giant worms! No, we're not talking about a summer horror flick but the result of spring showers. Rare, giant earthworms are appearing on the Palouse Prairie in Idaho. Worm lover Cass Davis tells the Lewiston Tribune he found three foot-long worms while hiking last weekend. He thinks they're giant Palouse earthworms, which can grow up to a yard long. The worms were believed to have been extinct until a researcher found one a decade ago.

SEX FOR DRUG TESTS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- It's a case involving sex and drugs -- but with a twist. Now a lab tech is going to prison. Prosecutors in Albuquerque, New Mexico, say Jayson Bice offered to fix women's drug tests in exchange for sex. He's been sentenced to six years. A jury earlier convicted Bice of extortion and accepting a bribe. He pleaded guilty in April to two other extortion counts.

HOUSTON GORILLAS

HOUSTON (AP) -- It's a $28 million dream home. But the residents are just a bunch of big apes. The Houston Zoo is showing off its new gorilla quarters. Seven of the endangered primates now live in the new state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor exhibit. A family of three of those gorillas are transplants from the Bronx Zoo in New York. It took Houston Zoo officials four years of fundraising and construction to make the gorilla home a reality.

WATER USE APP

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Some California school kids are turning high-tech entrepreneurs. Five Riverview Elementary School students in Fresno have come up with an idea for an app to monitor water use. The state is in the grip of a record drought. The Fresno Bee reports the kids presented their idea to officials in March. Now, the Fresno Chamber of Commerce and businesses including AT&T are kicking in more than 50,000 bucks to develop the app. It will be free and should be available for download by the time school starts in the fall.

 
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