Friday, September 25, 2009
National Academic Standards - What Do You Think?
From the NY Times:
The first official draft of proposed national educational standards was released on Monday, a joint project of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The curriculum guidelines detail math and English skills that all students should have by the end of high school. Forty-eight states (Texas and Alaska are the holdouts) have signed on to the effort, called the Common Core Standards Initiative, to write the standards. This is one step on a long road: there is a 30-day comment period, and then the panel convened by the governors association will work on grade-by-grade standards from kindergarten onward.
What are some strengths and weaknesses of the new proposal? What are the obstacles to adopting common curriculum standards? Should this be a national goal, or should education reform efforts be directed elsewhere?
Check out the article at the NY Times for the pros and cons. Or for more, check out what the Washington Post has to report on national standards:
The proposal aims to lift expectations for students beyond current standards, which vary widely from state to state, and establish for the first time an effective national consensus on core academic goals to help the United States keep pace with global competitors. Such agreement has proven elusive in the past because of a long tradition of local control over standards, testing and curriculum.
The proposal, posted at www.corestandards.org, was drafted over the summer by a group including experts affiliated with the organizations that oversee the ACT and SAT college admissions exams, as well as Achieve Inc., a standards advocate based in the District. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers launched the Common Core Standards Initiative this year, enlisting 48 states and the District of Columbia. The two holdouts are Texas, which recently updated its standards, and Alaska, where officials reportedly are reserving judgment.