March 11, 2010 in Nation/World

National school standards proposed

Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – Governors and education leaders on Wednesday proposed sweeping new school standards that could lead to students across the country using the same math and English textbooks and taking the same tests, replacing a patchwork of state and local systems in an attempt to raise student achievement nationwide.

But states must first adopt the new rigorous standards, and implementing the standards on such a large scale won’t be easy.

Two states – Texas and Alaska – have already refused to join the project, and everyone from state legislatures to the nation’s 10,000 local school boards and 3 million teachers could chime in with their opinions.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed new standards until April 2, and the developers hope to publish final education goals for K-12 math and English in May.

The state-led effort was coordinated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Experts were called in to do the writing and research, but state education officials and teachers from around the nation were actively involved.

After the standards are complete, each state will still have to decide whether to adopt them as a replacement for their existing goals.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping pay for the effort.

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