Wednesday, March 10, 2010

National Education Standards
A proposal from a panel of educators and experts is set to become (near) national standards for K-12. Their goals were to make standards higher, clearer, more organized, and more concise.
“Many states have too many expectations in their academic standards that force teachers to cover too much in a superficial way,” said Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. “We said, ‘Let’s keep these very understandable and at a number that is manageable. Let’s not put on teachers more requirements than they can deliver.’ ”

Another improvement over current state benchmarks, people involved in the initiative said, is that the proposed standards are what educators call vertically aligned, meaning that material students are to learn in early years builds a foundation for what is to come in the next grade.

“Students are asked to do progressively more challenging things, and although that may sound obvious, it’s a real breakthrough,” said Michael Cohen, an Education Department official in the Clinton administration who is president of Achieve.

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