President Obama wants to link Title I funding to states’ adoption of “college- and career-ready standards, he told the National Governors Association. States would have to sign on to common core standards under development — Texas and Alaska are the hold-outs — or work with state universities to set their own standards.
It’s not clear how “college- and career-ready” would be defined or evaluated, Education Week notes.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan also wants to tie Race To the Top funding to adoption of “college- and career-ready” standards.
Forcing states to adopt the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI) package is a “huge mistake,” writes Lynne Munson on the Common Core (no relation) blog. It alienates states like Massachusetts and California, which already have rigorous standards and won’t appreciate being coerced.
However, several new reports criticize the quality of the proposed common core standards, reports Curriculum Matters. Drafters are fighting over what to include in the reading and math standards. Once they see the final result, some states may opt out.
On Flypaper, Checker Finn suggests humility and prudence:
If these standards and assessments end up representing a huge improvement over those in use in most states today, then much that’s good may reasonably follow from their installation and use. But what if they don’t? And even if they do, what about those (few) states that have done a creditable job on their own and for which CCSSI may represent either a lateral move or a step backward? In any case, would it not be prudent to appraise their safety and efficacy before demanding that they become the center of America’s new education universe?
Rick Hess worries that the Education Department’s arrogance will undercut RTTT, which he likes.
. . . the Duncan team’s self-righteousness, impatience with skeptics, and frantic pace have meant little time or interest in building a process that will be credible and sustainable.
Duncan says the governors are “receptive” to linking common standards to eligibility for federal funds. Alexander Russo says he’ll believe it when the governors say it themselves: Sure, force us to jump through a new hoop to get the same old funding!
Update: Reward results, not process, says Center for Education Reform.
Why Race to the Middle? First-Class State Standards Are Better than Third-Class National Standards asserts a paper by Ze’ev Wurman and Sandra Stotsky for the Pioneer Institute.
Australia is introducing new standards — including grammar.