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Race to the Top and Common Curriculum

Ian Scott on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 8:58:00 am

Readers interested in yesterday's post about the Department of Education's Race to the Top program will probably be intrigued by an article from Stateline.org tracing the emergence of a common curriculum.  Here is an excerpt:

"...the push for common standards didn’t start with the federal government. Rather, it began in the states. In 2005, the National Governors Association led an initiative to get states to use the same measures to calculate graduation rates. That initiative evolved into a broader effort over the past year, as education officials from 48 states Alaska and Texas did not participate worked on developing a new set of academic standards for K-12 schools in conjunction with the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The same article also explains how the Race to the Top's effort to promote a standard curriculum may actually backfire.

"Those quiet state-led efforts got tied up in national politics when the administration decided to use the standards as a criterion for Race to the Top. That has made it harder for state officials to convince conservative legislators or board of education members to sign off on the Common Core standards."

Advocates of a common curriculum and standards say the effort would allow students who relocate to another state to pick up more easily.  They also argue that common standards would help colleges evaluate applicants from different states and know what to expect from freshman.

Click to read the full article: Did Race to the Top help or hurt the push for a common curriculum?

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