U.S. moves closer to common standards

Nearly every state has signed on in support of the common core standards.
Nearly every state has signed on in support of the common core standards.

Math and English instruction in the United States moved a step closer to uniform—and more rigorous—standards March 10 as a revised draft of new national guidelines was released. But the move toward common standards still faces several hurdles, including a debate over what the standards should look like and the significant cost of revising each state’s standards and curriculum materials.

Supporters of the Common Core Standards Initiative, led by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), hope the lists of things kids should learn at each grade level will replace a patchwork of different standards in states across the country.

The effort is expected to lead to standardization of textbooks and testing and make learning easier for students who move from state to state. That could save publishers, states, and districts money down the road—but getting to that point will require a huge up-front investment.…Read More

Obama urges states to raise academic standards

In order for U.S. to be first in world education, states need to raise their academic standards.
For the U.S. to lead the world in education, states need to raise their academic standards, Obama says.

Saying America’s “primacy in the world” is at stake, President Barack Obama on Feb. 22 prodded states to raise their academic standards by using the best leverage he has: money.

Speaking to governors gathered at the White House, Obama said he won’t “accept second place for the United States of America.” He noted that it continues to lag behind other nations in critical areas, including high school math and science skills.

Obama told the governors he wants a change in the nation’s education law that would allow states to receive federal aid for poor students only if they adopt academic standards that are deemed truly to prepare children for college or careers out of high school.…Read More