The Case for Common Educational Standards
Here's a spot-on op ed in tomorrow's WSJ on common standards co-authored by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago – when I find the time, I'll pull together the remarkable data about the extraordinary progress Florida's students made under his leadership, and since) and Joel Klein, proving (among other things) how forward-thinking Democrats can – and should! – team up with forward-thinking Republicans on this issue:
We must insist on standards that will prepare our high-school graduates for the demanding challenges they will face. And, while education is a national priority, the answer here does not appear to be a new federal program mandating national standards. States have historically had the primary responsibility for public education, and they should continue to take the lead.
The good news is that the states are stepping up. Recognizing our great need for more rigorous academics, state leaders and educators have come together to create model content standards. The Common Core State Standards were voluntarily developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and math and English experts. The standards provide a framework of clear and consistent skills for math and English. Already some 43 states and the District of Columbia have signed up to adopt the standards for English and math in lieu of their previous requirements.
The Common Core State Standards define what students need to know; they do not define how teachers should teach, or how students should learn. That is up to each state. And they are built on what we have learned from high-performing international competitors as well as the best practices in leading states.
- JUNE 23, 2011, 7:10 P.M. ET