The Obama Administration has released its plans for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (more recently referred to as No Child Left Behind). According to Department of Education documents, the Administration’s plan will “help states raise expectations of students and reward schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement. The blueprint provides incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and create accountability systems that measure student growth toward meeting the goal that all children graduate and succeed in college.”

Additionally, on 10 March 2010, the influential National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the first “official public draft of the K-12 standards” as part of the “Common Core State Standards Initiative,” a process being led by members of the two organizations from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

According to an NGA news release, “These draft standards, developed together with teachers, school administrators and experts, seek to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. The NGA Center and CCSSO have received feedback from national organizations representing, but not limited to teachers, postsecondary education (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. The NGA Center and CCSSO encourage those interested in the standards to provide further feedback by Friday, April 2, 2010, at www.corestandards.org.”

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards are:

  • Aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Evidence- and research-based.

The standards are expected to be finalized in early spring. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.

For more information about the Department of Education’s framework for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, please go to http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/.

 


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