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NC and other states "race to the top" in adopting Common Core Standards

The NC State Board of Education paved the way for other states to adopt the Common Core Standards with their approval on June 4, 2010. "North Carolina is pleased to be one of the first states to adopt the Common Core," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "Our state has been a leader in the movement from the beginning because we believe that it makes sense to collaborate with other states that share our vision for clear and rigorous standards." 

The debate centers over whether a state’s current curriculum is better than the national standards that are proposed to be rolled out in some states as early as the fall of 2012. “The most compelling argument for national standards is higher standards,” said Michael J. Petrilli, Vice President for National Programs and Policy at the Fordham Institute. “And that’s exactly what the ‘Common Core’ standards would mean for the vast majority of states and the children in their schools.”

The Fordham Institute released a study on the English Language Arts (ELA) and math standards on July 21. The group found that the Common Core standards are better than English standards in 37 states, math standards in 39 states. According to the report, for several states, it’s “too close to call.” California, Indiana and the D.C. have English standards that are clearly superior to the Common Core’s. No state has clearly superior standards in mathematics.

 The new standards define the knowledge and skills students should have throughout their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers. The standards:

  • are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • are informed by other top-performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in a global economy and society; and
  • are evidence- and research-based.

One of the most pressing issues for state boards to consider is if they have the capacity and the funds to implement the new standards. Heather Jack (Massachusetts Mom Congress delegate) wrote a blog entry about what’s happening in her state. Myrdin Thompson (Kentucky Mom Congress delegate) says on August 17, there will be a state wide town hall meeting featuring the Governor and Commissioner of Education. What’s happening in your state?

Liza Weidle is the North Carolina Mom Congress delegate and author of "The Truth about Parenting: Navigating the Elementary Years."