Pace of adopting national standards quickens
| Aug 09, 2010
More than two-thirds of the states—including Massachusetts, a state long famed for excellent academic-content standards—have adopted common grade-level expectations, as the movement to align nationwide what students are learning continues to gain steam. As of August 6, the number of states agreeing to follow the math and English/language arts benchmarks crafted by the Common Core State Standards Initiative had grown to 34, plus the District of Columbia.
Adoption of the common standards in Massachusetts on July 19 carried symbolic importance because the state’s curricular frameworks and aligned assessments, put in place by a 1993 education reform law, have been widely praised for almost two decades. “I think generally that we may see some states fall into place because of Massachusetts,” said Chris E. Minnich, the director of curriculum and assessment for the Council of Chief State School Officers, one of the two state-led groups that organized the initiative.
The quick pace of adoption has been fueled in no small part by the federal Race to the Top competition, which gave additional points to states if they signed on to the common standards by Aug. 2. Finalists for $3.4 billion still to be awarded in grants were named last month. Read more of this free premium access article in Education Week online.