46 states, D.C. plan to draft common education standards

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have announced an effort to craft a single vision for what children should learn each year from kindergarten through high school graduation — an unprecedented step toward a uniform definition of success in American schools, reports the Washington Post. The push for common reading and math standards marks a turning point in a movement to judge U.S. children using one yardstick that reflects expectations set for students in countries around the world at a time of increasing global competition. Today, each state decides what to teach at each grade level, but critics think some states set the bar so students can pass tests but ultimately are ill prepared. Led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the effort aims to define a framework of content and skills that would be "internationally competitive." Once the organizers of the effort agree to a proposal, each state would decide individually whether to adopt it. The nearly complete support of governors for the effort — leaders in Texas, Alaska, Missouri, and South Carolina are the only ones who have not signed on — is key. Many Republicans oppose nationally mandated standards, but there is broad support for a voluntary effort that bubbles up from the states…

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