Seattle Times Article About SBCTC Year 12 Math Course

Photo by Eric Jacobs for The Seattle Times

Photo by Eric Jacobs for The Seattle Times

The Education Lab Blog, a “yearlong project to spark meaningful conversation about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest,” just published an article about an exciting project we are working on here at SBCTC.

Read “New Course Can Help Vault Students into College-Level Math” to find out more about the college readiness math course we are creating to help foster meaningful alignment between high school and community college curriculum.

The goals of developing and making this “Year 12” course available statewide are to

  • Provide more high school students with a clear opportunity to avoid remediation and placement testing when they enter college
  • Improve curricular alignment between K-12 and entry-level college courses
  • Increase the understanding of key elements of Common Core State Standards for high school teachers and college faculty
  • Develop and/or sustain local college/school district partnerships with a particular emphasis on faculty/teacher collaboration

We are also working on a senior year college readiness English course.

Questions?  Please contact Bill Moore at

Recommend Achievement Levels for SB Interim and Summative Assessments

Smarter Balanced LogoThe Smarter Balanced Assessment (SB) Consortium seeks Washington State

  • K–12 teachers and higher education faculty,
  • K-12 and higher education administrators,
  • parents,
  • business/community leaders

to participate in an online panel to establish consistent measures of progress for the SB interim and summative assessments.

Recommend a rigorous, fair, and accurate college readiness achievement level on the 11th grade assessment based on your professional judgment and your experience.

Click Here to Register for the Online Panel

On the registration site, you will

  1. choose the grade and content area (English language arts/literacy or mathematics) and grade in which you want to participate;
  2. provide an email address, role, and demographic information;
  3. verify your email;
  4. select a 2-day window (between October 6 and 17, 2014) for participation.

SB estimates that each session will take up to 3 hours.

Registrations must be submitted online by September 19, 2014!

Bill Moore SBCTCQuestions?  Please contact Bill Moore, Director of Core to College Alignment at the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC): 360.704.4346 or e-mail at

Please forward this e-mail to any colleagues who you think might be interested in this work; it is important to have as many participants as possible, from as many backgrounds as possible, provide these recommendations.

Give Your Feedback on the DRAFT Recommendations for Smarter Balanced 11th Grade Assessment

Please read and provide feedback (see below for two ways to do so) on the DRAFT recommendations for use of the Smarter Balanced 11th Grade Assessment.

A cross-sector work group representing a variety of key education stakeholder groups convened in early November to draft system recommendations regarding the use of the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment as an indicator of college readiness in the placement process for post-secondary institutions in Washington.  Although the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment is NOT a placement test, these recommendations are intended to be incorporated into the ongoing system-wide efforts to provide students with multiple/alternative measures for placement.

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Common Core: Gerald Graff Versus Diane Ravitch?

Many of you are probably familiar with (and perhaps have partaken in) the heated conversations occurring on the state and national level about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Particularly resonant to my own situation is that the “Common Core Yields Odd Political Allegiances“: the article title I invoked in the previous clause begins with this line– “To say that new academic standards have yielded strange bedfellows would be an understatement.”

However, I am concerned that, as usual, the national discourse about CCSS reduces the complexity of these tensions to the equivalent of twin (albeit opposing) Facebook status updates– one to which we respond “like” or “dislike” without much further research or thought.

At the risk of reducing a complex issue to a simplistic “Good Thing/Bad Thing” binary (If you watch the clip, I love it when Jon Stewart says, “Good thing or bad thing?  Let’s go to our analyst, Flippy the Coin!” and I am always horrified anew when the reporter cuts off a sophisticated financial analysis with an unbelievably snide “Can you just say if that’s a good thing or a bad thing?”), I think it’s worth noting that two remarkably fine minds and scholars have both produced coherent arguments regarding their opposing stances on the Common Core– Diane Ravitch and Gerald Graff.

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