The following is a roundup of news and opinions weve read about the Common Core State Standards over the last week. Get ready to start hearing about common science standards! Ed Weeks Curriculum Matters blog has some initial reaction to a draft of the Next Generation science standards. One blogger picks apart a Common Core literature unit created for The Hobbit and says its not up to snuff. The post gives you a sense for what many educators are considering when they create lessons aligned to the standards. Our own Scholastic Instructor magazine has an interview with education professor and Math Solutions author John Tapper about helping students build conceptual math skills (meaning, understanding of math, rather than memorization of procedures), a area of focus in the CCSS math standards. Carol Jago of UCLA weighs into the conversation about non-fiction vs. fiction in the Common Core with a super post on The Answer Sheet blog that clarifies what the standards intend and that hopefully calms people down a little bit. NPR does a nice job here explaining how students, under the new Common Core standards, are expected to cite evidence from text and demonstrate reasoning skills to build reading comprehension.