Friday, April 17, 2009

Shared standards: SB 1 meets stimulus funding

EdWeek reports breaking news:
After years of debating the idea of national content standards, representatives from 37 states are set to convene in Chicago today in what organizers hope will be a first, concrete step toward common guidelines in mathematics and English-language arts.
The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers—the Washington-based groups that are co-sponsoring the meeting—want to build a prototype of high school graduation standards by summer, and grade-by-grade academic standards in math and language arts by the end of the year.
The undertaking would start with rigorous math and language arts standards that are aligned with college- and career-ready expectations and made available for states to adopt voluntarily.
Following the meeting states ready to support common standards are to be asked to put their commitment in writing within weeks.
The article continues with considerable detail well worth a read, here.
This is a movement Kentucky will be part of. In February, Commissioner Farris noted the state's planned involvement in the KDE white paper on Assessment issues here. Even the timetable aligns perfectly with SB 1's requirement that new math standards be completed by the end of this year.
The project is also ripe for funding under the ARRA stimulus bill. "The Race to the Top is officially on," writes EdWeek's Politics P-12 blog in reporting on today's announcement, linking the standards work to the competitive grant money to be awarded by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in the coming months. If you wondered what a "shovel-ready" project looks like in education, this work is your answer.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!