New State Education Standards
Below are some key paragraphs about the new state standards. Here is the link to The New York Times article. Here is the link to the PDFs that spell out the new state standards. This seems like a good thing but what are your thoughts?
By SAM DILLON Published: June 2, 2010
- The nation’s governors and state school chiefs released on Wednesday a new set of academic standards, their final recommendations for what students should master in English and math as they move from the primary grades through high school graduation.
- The standards, which took a year to write, have been tweaked and refined in recent weeks in response to some of the 10,000 comments the public sent in after a draft was released in March.
- The Obama administration hopes that states will quickly adopt the new standards in place of the hodgepodge of current state benchmarks, which vary so significantly that it is impossible to compare test scores from different states. The United States is one of the few developed countries that lacks national standards for its public schools.
- Students whose families move from New York to Georgia or California, for example, often have difficulty adjusting to new schools because classroom work is organized around different standards. The problem has become worse, since many states have weakened standards in recent years to make it easier for schools to avoid sanctions under the federalNo Child Left Behind law.
- The new standards were written by English and math experts convened last year by theNational Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They are laid out in two documents: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, andCommon Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. With three appendices, the English standards run to nearly 600 pages.
- Under the new math standards, eighth graders would be expected to use the Pythagorean theorem to find distances between points on the coordinate plane and to analyze polygons. Under the English standards, sixth-grade students would be expected to describe how a story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes and how an author develops the narrator’s point of view.
- In keeping with those principles, the English standards do not prescribe a reading list, but point to classic poems, plays, short stories, novels and essays to demonstrate the advancing complexity of texts that students should be able to master. On the list of exemplary read-aloud books for second and third graders, for instance, is James Thurber’s “Thirteen Clocks.” One play cited as appropriate for high school students is “Oedipus Rex,” by Sophocles.