Tuesday, June 01, 2010

National Standards Out June 2

Common Core State Standards, otherwise known as National Standards, will be officially released tomorrow. All other previous content from the website has already been removed leaving a single message,
"The Common Core State Standards will be available at this link Wednesday, June 2 at 10 a.m. Please check back at that time."
Now it will be up to individual states to adopt the standards. With dollars in hand, the Obama administration is working overtime to get the states to "compete" for the money and to adopt the standards. Maryland has already decided to adopt them but Virginia has opted out. Time will tell what the others will do.

Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute was asked by Education News, "Is it safe to call these standards Federal standards as opposed to state standards?"
They definitely will not be state standards, if by that we mean standards set by each state. States that adopt the standards have to take them all, and the standards must constitute at least 85 percent of an adopting state’s overall mathematics and English language arts standards. It is probably also not entirely accurate to call these federal standards as they are not being written by the feds. They are, however, much closer to that than national-standards advocates would have us believe: It is federal money that is pushing many states to sign onto the CCSSI effort, and we have seen since the ESEA was first passed in 1965 that what Washington funds, it ultimately tries to control.
To coincide with the unveiling of the new national standards, The Cato Institute has scheduled a debate tomorrow to discuss the question, "Is there good reason to believe that national standards will improve educational outcomes?"

It's an interesting debate to a question that should have been asked a long time ago; however in the in the end, the answer won't matter. Too many people aren't paying attention and those that are largely support the reform. This isn't about improving education but an effort to improve Obama's image in the short-term and to increase federal control in the long-term.

And once national standards are place it will then be the federal government's duty to make sure that all children receive an education that is "college and career ready" and adequately prepares them for a job in the global economy. Anyone want to guess what will happen to homeschooling?

Update: Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post had a list of other states planning to opt out of the Race for the Top money which may make them less inclined to adopt Common Core State Standards. The states are Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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