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Governors OK 'Entity' To Oversee Standards

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Washington

The National Governors' Association has formally backed the creation of a privately financed organization to promote the use of rigorous academic standards and assessments in classrooms across the country.

The decision came at the NGA's annual summer meeting in Puerto Rico last month. The 32 governors who approved the new group did not debate potentially contentious details such as the organization's budget or staff size, location, or even its name.

Work on those decisions and others, including how the new group plans to raise operating funds, began when NGA staff members returned to Washington, said Patricia F. Sullivan, the NGA's director of education legislation.

Building a Clearinghouse

For now, the nongovernmental enterprise will continue to be known as the "entity," the moniker it has had since the national education summit in March. The 40 governors and 49 leading business executives who attended the summit agreed to launch an organization to carry out some of the goals they set, including providing guidance and information on standards and assessments to states and school districts seeking it.

The governors' association said no existing organization is currently able to undertake all of the activities the governors committed to at the summit.

The entity is to be up and running by late next month, Ms. Sullivan said. It will have a small staff and be governed by the six governors and six business leaders who served on the summit's planning committee.

Through the entity, states, districts, and businesses will be able to receive technical assistance in the areas of standards, assessments, accountability, and the use of technology in schools. The nonpartisan organization will also work with interested states to identify and develop assessments connected to their standards.

The entity is to serve also as a national clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information and research on standards and assessments. But the governors specified that "the entity will not endorse, develop, or financially support the development of national education standards."

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