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The Movement Towards National Standards

Connecticut’s State Board of Education voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards earlier this month and many other states are doing the same.  The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) coordinated the development of the standards and released the final version June 2.

As of last week, twenty-seven states had adopted the standards and more are expected to do so as Race to the Top requires state action by August 2.  Standards are not meant to lead to a national curriculum but will aid states and districts in developing their own curricula and trainings.  The standards outline the skills and knowledge that every student should share in math and English.

According to the CT Mirror,

A review by Connecticut educators concluded that 80 percent of the common English standards and more than 90 percent of common math standards match existing Connecticut standards.

Where standards do not match, the differences are often subtle, sometimes a matter of when certain skills are taught. In math, for example, the new common standards call for students to learn to multiply and divide fractions in fifth grade, a skill that is introduced in sixth grade under existing Connecticut standards.

The New York Times covered the movement to adopt national standards recently and several education leaders were asked to weigh in with their opinions.  Their views of the standards are widely divergent and interesting to read.  Check them out and join the discussion on the New York Times site here.

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