Standards News in Brief

Business Group Calls for Panel to Vet Instructional Materials

By Catherine Gewertz — October 15, 2013 1 min read

An organization of top business leaders is calling for the establishment of a panel of judges that would decide which instructional materials are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The Business Roundtable formally proposed the panel last week as part of a broad policy statement about the group’s educational priorities. It proposes a group that would create “Consumer Reports-type reviews” to assess how well curriculum and instructional materials are aligned with the standards.

The paper doesn’t discuss who would establish the panel or serve on it. People of varying viewpoints on the common core have said it would be virtually impossible to assemble a group whose educational and political persuasions wouldn’t raise bias concerns.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler, who now heads up the Business Roundtable, recently floated the idea of a panel at a Center for American Progress discussion of the common core. He noted that “credibility” could be an issue.

Roundtable Vice President Dane Linn, who spearheaded the common-core initiative for the National Governors Association, worried from the outset about how educators would find their way through the many sets of materials that would be produced in response to the new standards. Back then, he eventually concluded that setting up a vetting panel was too potentially problematic.

Achieve, which had a pivotal early role in shaping the standards, has already created a jury of people from 14 states who are judging the alignment of curricular submissions. That program, EQuIP, also offers guidelines educators can use to judge materials.

A version of this article appeared in the October 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Business Group Calls for Panel to Vet Instructional Materials

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