School & District Management

Federal Role Touchy in Standards Push

By Alyson Klein — August 31, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Memo to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education: Stay out of the common-standards business.

That was the message at a recent Education Commission of the States session from Gov. Phil Bredesen, whose state has signed on to the common-standards effort—and was a winner in the Race to the Top competition, in which common standards are an important element.

If federal officials decide to take ownership of the push for common academic standards, they could inject an unwelcome partisan note, Gov. Bredesen, a Democrat, told attendees at last month’s session at the ecs’s National Forum on Education Policy, held in Portland, Ore.

“The problem with Congress is they take any issue and it turns into a liberal-conservative” split, he said.

The Obama administration has pledged to stay out of states’ way on the Common Core State Standards Initiative, led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

But President Barack Obama has also proposed tying Title I money for disadvantaged students to states’ adoption of standards for college and career readiness, either through the common-core effort or standards states create with higher education institutions.

Also at the ECS session, Colorado schools chief Dwight D. Jones—speaking just days before his state was shut out of a second-round Race to the Top grant—said that he has mixed feelings about the administration’s penchant for competitive grants. The Race to the Top applications were very labor-intensive, and not every state education agency had the capacity to apply, he said.

“You’ve got to be careful that you don’t create haves and have-nots,” he said.

He and Massachusetts schools chief Mitchell D. Chester parted ways a bit on the No Child Left Behind Act. Mr. Chester said he’s glad the Obama administration still pushes some policies begun in the NCLB law. They are “on steroids [regarding] accountability and teacher policy and so forth,” he said.

Mr. Jones, on the other hand, said there hasn’t been enough emphasis on helping to improve teacher quality and finding ways to intervene in low-performing schools.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as Federal Role Touchy in Standards Push

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Grad Rates Soared at a School Few Wanted to Attend. How It Happened
Leaders at this Florida high school have "learned to be flexible" to improve graduation rates.
8 min read
Student hanging on a tearing graduate cap tassel
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Don’t Just Listen to the Loudest Voices: Resources for Ed. Leaders
These resources can help school and district leaders communicate with their communities.
Jennifer Perry Cheatham & Jenny Portillo-Nacu
5 min read
A pair of hands type on a blank slate of keys that are either falling apart or coming together on a bed of sharpened pencils.  Leadership resources.
Raul Arias for Education Week
School & District Management The Harm of School Closures Can Last a Lifetime, New Research Shows
The short-term effects on students when their schools close have been well documented. New research examines the long-term impact.
5 min read
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020.
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020. A new study examines the long-term effects on students whose schools close.
Jessie Wardarski/AP
School & District Management Video 'Students Never Forget': Principals Call for Help After School Shootings
School leaders are lobbying Congress for more financial support for schools that experience gun violence.
2 min read
Forest High School students console one another after a school shooting at Forest High School Friday, April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Fla. One student shot another in the ankle at the high school and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Friday. The injured student was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Forest High School students console one another after a school shooting at Forest High School Friday, April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Fla. One student shot another in the ankle at the high school and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Friday. The injured student was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP