A Fordham Institute’s report, Stars by Which to Navigate: Scanning National and International Standards in 2009, has brought The Common Core State Standards Initiative back into the news.
Proposed National Academic Standards Sidestep Debate
By Nick Anderson
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, as it is known, is an attempt to fashion de facto national standards for math and English without calling them that. President Obama praises it as an effort to raise what are now wildly uneven benchmarks from state to state. His administration might provide money to help states develop tests aligned with the standards — if they are adopted. But the Education Department is not drafting the standards, and Congress will have no vote on approval.
National standards not led by Federal Government? Then led by who? Education Week has extensive coverage of the Common Core Standards:
Standards Aren’t Enough
By Susan H. Fuhrman, Lauren Resnick, & Lorrie Shepard
Before anyone objects to a Washington takeover of the elementary school down the street, it’s important to note that the standards effort was initiated by two organizations of state leaders: the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Forty-eight states are participating in developing the standards. The standards are voluntary, however, and not even all of those states are likely to embrace them.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration will probably have leverage to nudge states to get on board. States will apply this winter for $4.35 billion in federal education money as part of the Race to the Top initiative that’s meant to encourage innovations, such as programs to turn around the most troubled schools. Even though the federal government did not develop these standards, only those states that embrace them are expected to be eligible to receive the money.
At this point the Common Core Standards are not a homeschooling issue. However, given the driving forces behind this initiative, the research, the resources, plus a new administration, there is a very good chance you will see these Common Core Standards being debated in your state soon.