College & Workforce Readiness

Experts Debate Road Ahead for Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — June 14, 2010 1 min read

Some interesting dialogue has been unfolding about the common standards since their big unveiling (in long-awaited final form) on June 2. Since I was called away unexpectedly to the Other Coast last week, I’m doing a bit of catching up. Forgive me if you’ve already seen these intriguing bits floating around cyberspace.

• A meaty discussion over at the National Journal, launching from Virginia’s decision to pull out of the federal Race to the Top competition, in large part due to concerns about adopting the common standards.

• Interesting exchanges between conservatives. The University of Arkansas’ Jay P. Greene attacks the common standards as one symptom of “reformer’s disease.” The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli responds, saying, among other things, that the standards are pretty darn good. That didn’t ease Greene’s mind, apparently, because he came back at it again. (He landed a couple of ouch points in Education Next, as well.)

• The Hechinger Institute developed an interactive map that shows what topics are taught at what points in each state’s standards. Those variations are part of the rationale behind establishing common standards.

Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss reflects on what common standards are—and what they aren’t.

• The Fordham Institute’s Checker Finn asked in a recent edition of the newsletter Gadfly whether we should expect every student to conform to the expectations laid out in the common standards, and whether doing so might boost the dropout rate.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.