Standards News in Brief

Panel to Spur International Benchmarks

By Michele McNeil — September 16, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new advisory group packed with high-powered technology executives, governors, education policymakers, and think tank researchers is aiming to help jump-start the movement by states to measure their academic standards against those of other countries.

The 22-member group is on a fast track to produce a report in November that will make the case to policymakers for international benchmarking, and to offer steps for carrying out such an initiative.

The group is a joint effort by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Washington that promotes higher academic standards and better preparation of students for college and the work world.

All three organizations signaled earlier this year their interest in working together on what such a move toward international benchmarking might look like in a practical sense. (“Benchmarks Momentum on Increase,” March 12, 2008.)

The new advisory group is co-chaired by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat and a former NGA chair who made innovation in education part of her agenda; Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, a Republican; and Craig Barrett, the chairman of the board of the Intel Corp.

In a sign of which states may lead the charge toward internationally benchmarking, the group includes the governors of Virginia and Rhode Island and the state schools chiefs in Colorado and Massachusetts.

Also among the members are Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive officer of the Microsoft Corp.; Chester E. Finn, Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute; former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley; and Beverly L. Hall, the superintendent of the Atlanta public schools.

“The difference between this group’s report and previous ones will be that the NGA, the council [of chief state school officers], and Achieve will be working to help states on the implementation of the recommendations,” said Dane Linn, the director of the NGA’s education policy division.

In addition, said Mr. Linn, the group will work to identify how the federal government can help states set benchmarks comparing their standards with those of other countries.

International benchmarking is the latest offshoot of the standards and accountability movement, which sparked the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“NCLB was a good start,” Mr. Linn said. “It’s now time to raise the bar.”

A version of this article appeared in the September 17, 2008 edition of Education Week


Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

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

Standards Opinion How the Failure of the Common Core Looked From the Ground
Steve Peha shares insights from his on-site professional-development work about why the common core failed, in a guest letter to Rick Hess.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards Opinion Common Core Is a Meal Kit, Not a Nothingburger
Caroline Damon argues Rick Hess and Tom Loveless sold the common core short, claiming the issue was a matter of high-quality implementation.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
Standards Opinion After All That Commotion, Was the Common Core a Big Nothingburger?
The Common Core State Standards may not have had an impact on student outcomes, but they did make school improvement tougher and more ideological.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty