School & District Management

Key Teams Tapped in Standards Push

By Michele McNeil & Sean Cavanagh — July 14, 2009 1 min read

The two national organizations coordinating a push for common academic standards have named the 29 people who are deciding what math and language arts skills students will need to know and when, along with the 35 people who will formally critique the group’s work.

The list of those who will write the standards is dominated by three organizations: the Washington-based Achieve Inc., which works on college- and career readiness; the New York City-based College Board, which sponsors the SAT; and ACT Inc., the Iowa City, Iowa-based organization that administers the college-entrance test of that name.

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the two Washington organizations coordinating the effort, have said members of those three groups, announced July 1, would take the lead in writing the standards.

But the 29-member Standards Development Work Group also includes seven other representatives from academia, a retired education consultant, and members from school improvement groups such as the Washington-based America’s Choice.

The CCSSO and NGA also named 35 members of the feedback groups in math and language arts that will critique the standards work, including experts from the fields of math and language arts who have been critical of the process so far.

All but four states—Alaska, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas—have signed on to the effort to adopt rigorous common standards in math and language arts. (“46 States Agree to Common Academic Standards Effort,” June 10, 2009.)

The states plan to release their first set of high school exit standards for states to review this month. Grade-by-grade standards, which the organizers are also calling “learning progression standards,” are set to be done in December.

Bringing more urgency to the effort is U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s commitment last month to set aside $350 million to help states develop common assessments as a result of the new common standards.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 2009 edition of Education Week

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