There are several key issues for IRA members and their state councils. There are three key areas:
1. State Literacy Teams
2. LEARN Act
3. Core Standards
The State Literacy Teams are a part of the $250 million Striving Readers program to provide funds for professional development in literacy from age 0 through grade 12. The State Literacy Teams are to assist in the planning for the use of those funds.
The LEARN Act is a $2.3 billion proposal to provide funds for literacy professional development from age 0 - grade 12. It is hoped to be included in a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (NCLB). Currently IRA and others are working to expand the number of Representatives and Senators who are agreeing to sponsor this legislation by signing on as a co-sponsor.
The Core Standards are under development by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The current set being reviewed are for grade by grade standards that will link to the Career and College ready standards that were previously announced. One state, Kentucky, has already endorsed these standards even before they have been made public. The President has said that his proposal for a new Title I will include the requirement that states must adopt these new standards, already, as a part of the Race to the Top program states must agree to adopt the standards if they want the Race to the Top funds. When the states have to decide whether or not to adopt the new standards it is going to be a very difficult decision. State Councils are going to have to be prepared for the result as it will make a big difference how professional development funds are allocated, what is emphasized, and how assessments are constructed.
For more detailed information on any of these issues, contact IRA's Washington Office at email@example.com