The long-awaited national standards will be rolled out in Georgia on Wednesday in Suwanee with an all-star cast, including Gov. Sonny Perdue, Jack Markell, governor of Delaware, Steve Paine, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools, Eric J. Smith, Florida Commissioner of Education, Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers, Leah Luke, Wisconsin 2010 Teacher of the Year, Byron V. Garrett, CEO of National Parent-Teacher Association, Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education, Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the National Education Association, and Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to develop academic standards to prepare students for success in college and careers. The standards were drafted by teachers, content experts and researchers and garnered about 10,000 public comments in their draft form. Because states now follow their own standards and their own testing of those standards, rigor differs state to state. The collection of standards also undermines any meaningful national and international comparisons.
Perdue co-chairs the Common Core State Standards Initiative of the National Governors Association, which is likely why this big event is taking place at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee at 10. am. tomorrow.
The event marks the end of the development phase of the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the beginning of the adoption process in the individual states. I assume Perdue would like Georgia to be an early adopter.
A few years ago, I would have predicted a fight, but I think many more people are now in agreement that we need national standards so that all American students are held to the same expectations. (However, please note the deliberate avoidance of the tern “national standards” for the more palatable “common core state standards.”)
The principles of algebra remain the same whether taught in Powder Springs or Portland, and the chemical properties of water don’t vary across state lines. National standards — backed by testing — would also make it quite clear which states and school districts were failing their students.
“Common education standards and assessments aligned to those standards are in the best interest of both Georgia and the nation,” said Gov. Perdue. “They will allow for an authentic, credible scoreboard that tells us how we are doing compared to students in other states.”
Georgia PTA already issued a statement on Wednesday’s release of the standards. This statement is from Sheila Cornelius, Georgia PTA President
Georgia PTA enthusiastically supports release of clear, rigorous education standards that if adopted, will help Georgia students, parents, and teachers all be on the same page and working together to ensure that young people are prepared for the demands of college and the workplace.
Developed and informed by teachers, parents, and experts in standards, the K-12 Common Core State Standards for Math and English/Language Arts represent a common sense next step to build on all of the good work already happening in Georgia.
These standards, released Wednesday by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.
Today, some children are fortunate, engaging in rich educational experiences and graduating high school prepared to fulfill their dreams. Then there are the unlucky ones who do everything asked and expected of them and are awarded a high school diploma, yet find themselves in college unable to do the work and sent to take remedial courses. Not surprisingly, remedial courses lead to frustration and added expense, which often leads to abandoning a once fruitful career path. Today, 60 percent of students beginning community college need to take at least one remedial class.
These standards build on the best of current state standards and define what students are expected to know and be able to do each year beginning in kindergarten through high school graduation. This clear and simple set of standards focuses on the fundamentals a young person needs to master in English literacy and Mathematics to develop essential reasoning, analytic, and writing skills. The standards, which are evidence-based, provide a staircase for learning, so that students’ knowledge is built in the right sequence, one step at a time.
We now have a path forward to give every student, regardless of their zip code or income status, an education that will open the door to opportunity, mobility, career success, and good citizenship, enabling them to pursue their life aspirations.
Georgia PTA continues to urge its members and all parents and families to become involved in advocating for the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Math and English/Language Arts. We also encourage our Chief State School Officer and the State Board of Education to include parents, teachers and PTA representatives in the adoption and implementation process. Parents, teachers and PTA members provide valuable perspectives and can be key partners in advocating for standards adoption and implementation at the local level. Georgia PTA also offers workshop sessions at its annual Convention Leadership Training held June 25 and 26, 2010 at the Georgia International Convention Center on the benefits of Common Core State Standards.
Adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards will not only mean that our young people will be better prepared for college and a career; it will make our economy stronger over the long term.