Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

STOP THE PRESSES!!!!  The results from this study are STUNNING – even ONE YEAR of a highly effective teacher (in kindergarten) can lead to BIG lifetime earnings gains:

On Tuesday, Mr. Chetty presented the findings — not yet peer-reviewed — at an academic conference in Cambridge, Mass. They're fairly explosive.

Just as in other studies, the Tennessee experiment found that some teachers were able to help students learn vastly more than other teachers. And just as in other studies, the effect largely disappeared by junior high, based on test scores. Yet when Mr. Chetty and his colleagues took another look at the students in adulthood, they discovered that the legacy of kindergarten had re-emerged.

Students who had learned much more in kindergarten were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds. Students who learned more were also less likely to become single parents. As adults, they were more likely to be saving for retirement. Perhaps most striking, they were earning more.

All else equal, they were making about an extra $100 a year at age 27 for every percentile they had moved up the test-score distribution over the course of kindergarten. A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a 5-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average. Over time, the effect seems to grow, too.

The economists don't pretend to know the exact causes. But it's not hard to come up with plausible guesses. Good early education can impart skills that last a lifetime — patience, discipline, manners, perseverance. The tests that 5-year-olds take may pick up these skills, even if later multiple-choice tests do not.

…Mr. Chetty and his colleagues — one of whom, Emmanuel Saez, recently won the prize for the top research economist under the age of 40 — estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year. That's the present value of the additional money that a full class of students can expect to earn over their careers. This estimate doesn't take into account social gains, like better health and less crime.


The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

Published: July 27, 2010

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As Race to the Top competition intensifies, so do education reforms

BIG news: the DOE announced that 18 states and DC are finalists for the 2nd round of RTTT money.  Here's one of many stories quoting DFER:

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia are finalists in the second round of Race to the Top, the influential and controversial competition for federal money to help states overhaul their education systems.

In announcing the finalists in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Race to the Top part of "a quiet revolution" under way in education reform. He highlighted the reforms it's already prompted states to put in place.

"This minor provision in the [stimulus package] has unleashed an avalanche of pent-up educational reform activity at the state and at the local level," he said.

The finalists – which each received more than 400 points on a 500-point scale in evaluations – are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. They'll be competing for the $3.4 billion remaining in the program, and they will send teams in early August for the interview portion of the competition. The winners – somewhere between 10 and 15, according to Secretary Duncan – will be announced in September.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on that list is Arizona, which, in Round 1 of the competition, finished 40th out of 41 applicants.

"Arizona was a wild card. Coming in last apparently did not sit well with them," says Charles Barone, director of federal policy for Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Since the first round ended in the spring, he notes, Arizona has passed two major laws, increasing education funding and revamping the state's teacher-evaluation system.


As Race to the Top competition intensifies, so do education reforms

In announcing the Race to the Top finalists Tuesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the program part of 'a quiet revolution' under way in education reform.

By Amanda Paulson, Staff writer / July 27, 2010  

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DFER’s summary of the amazing changes RTTT has catalyzed:


Race to the Top (RttT) has effected more positive change in state and local education laws and policies than any other federal education program in history.


NCLB was akin to an IBM PC circa 1995 - uniform, powerful, but clunky. Race to the Top is a 2010 iPad - a flexible platform that provides policymakers with dynamic tools to create and adopt innovative apps and nimbly customize them to their specific needs. 


It has mobilized policy-makers, principals and teachers to create the conditions that are needed to help schools meet high standards of excellence, and it has unleashed waves of creativity to reach that goal. Each state has taken its own unique route, yet the objective is common.


[See one-pager (attached) for statistics on states that have implemented new policies as part of the RttT process, and quotes (attached) from educators and advocates]


While not all states enacted the big changes we saw in states like Colorado, New York, Louisiana, and Rhode Island, the gains are nonetheless significant. Some states enacted solid reforms that are not revolutionary but take critical steps toward better teacher training and learning. Almost every state, with just a few exceptions, began to re-examine its education policies.

Race To The Top Backgrounder 

Preceding Announcement of Round 2 finalists


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be announcing the Round 2 Race to the Top finalists during a speech he is giving today at the National Press Club entitled "The Quiet Revolution." The speech begins at 12:30, and you can watch it online: here.

Race to the Top (RttT) has effected more positive change in state and local education laws and policies than any other federal education program in history.


NCLB was akin to an IBM PC circa 1995 - uniform, powerful, but clunky. Race to the Top is a 2010 iPad - a flexible platform that provides policymakers with dynamic tools to create and adopt innovative apps and nimbly customize them to their specific needs. 


It has mobilized policy-makers, principals and teachers to create the conditions that are needed to help schools meet high standards of excellence, and it has unleashed waves of creativity to reach that goal. Each state has taken its own unique route, yet the objective is common.


[See one-pager (attached) for statistics on states that have implemented new policies as part of the RttT process, and quotes (attached) from educators and advocates]


While not all states enacted the big changes we saw in states like Colorado, New York, Louisiana, and Rhode Island, the gains are nonetheless significant. Some states enacted solid reforms that are not revolutionary but take critical steps toward better teacher training and learning. Almost every state, with just a few exceptions, began to re-examine its education policies.


That process is ongoing and will not end with the announcement of the Round 2 finalists today or with the announcement of Round 2 winners in September. States and districts, teachers and parents, are still learning from each other about what's possible, from both a political and policy perspective.


Our education system didn't break overnight, and it will take more than one federal program and more than one 4-year grant cycle to fix it. What is indisputable, however, is that Race to the Top has put wind in the sails of the education reform movement and, in just a year and a half, has accelerated the pace of change more than any other past federal effort and much more than most of us dreamed possible.


Some examples of actions states took on RttT in Round 2:


Arizona: It may not be enough to get the state to the finalist level in Round 2 but Arizona, which scored dead last in Round 1, came back with two significant actions in response to criticisms of inadequate education funding and weak policies:  1) On May 10th the Governor signed into law SB 1040 after the state legislature approved a new framework for teacher and principal evaluation based in part on student academic progress; 2) On May 18th , Arizona voters passed Proposition 100, a one cent sales tax increase, preventing $555 million in funding cuts to public schools. 


George Banning canvasses for charter school advocates in Crown Heights, Brooklyn


Colorado: Passage of Senator Mike Johnston's (D-Denver) teacher evaluation and tenure reform bill (SB 191) on the last day of Colorado's legislative session in May was largely seen as consecutive years could have tenure suspended. Supporters included the state NAACP, Stand for Children, DFER-Colorado, the American Federation of Teachers, Denver Chamber of Commerce, A+ Denver, and Padres & Jóvenes Unidos.


Connecticut: Connecticut, which ranked 25th in Round 1, took a significant step forward on school reform on May 5th, when it passed SB 438 which will require every district to evaluate teachers based on their students' achievement; establish a data system that links students to their teachers and teachers to their training programs; create new pathways for talented classroom teachers to become principals; and eliminate caps on the number of seats allowed in high-performing public charter schools.


Florida: In Florida, a deal between Governor Crist and teachers' unions on a new teacher evaluation and merit pay system was announced on May 5th, just weeks after the governor's veto on April 15th of the legislature's own evaluation and tenure reform bill. The plan, like the vetoed bill, would base at least 50 percent of teacher evaluations on student achievement growth, phased in over several years and would tie teacher pay, in part, to those evaluations.


Illinois: The state passed a new law on May 28th that strengthens standards for certification of principals and principal preparation programs. This comes on top of a strong Round 1 application with new and robust teacher evaluation and charter school policies, which earned the state 5th place. Despite not weakening its application in between Round 1 and 2, the state garnered the support of 222 additional school districts, bringing the total to 590.


New York: On May 28th, just days before the June 1st filing deadline, the state passed three new laws:  1) a new evaluation system designed to measure teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance, including measures of student achievement; 2) a doubling of the cap on public charter schools from 200 to 460, while at the same time setting tougher accountability criteria; 3) a new state longitudinal, comprehensive data system.


New York is home to some of the best public charter schools in the nation, such as Harlem Success Academy (6,000 students on waiting lists) which research shows is closing achievement gaps with districts like Scarsdale without "creaming" the best students, and Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone, which is a national model for a "wraparound," neighborhood-centered approach to education and social services.

Oklahoma: The state passed strong legislation right before the June 1 deadline that requires districts to restructure the most chronically low-performing schools and gives local school boards more autonomy and power to do so. 

Rhode Island:  On June 10th the state set into law a new formula that will more equitably dole out money to public schools based on the number of poor students enrolled.  The lack of such a formula was a key reason Rhode Island lost points in Round 1. The Ocean State passed a number of key policy reforms prior to Round 1. 


 Race to the Top

By the Numbers


The Fundamentals


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allotted $4.35 billion in the federal Race to the Top grant competition. Only 2 states - Delaware ($100 million) and Tennessee  ($500 million – received grants in Round 1.


41 states, including the District of Columbia, applied to Round 1 of Race to the Top.


36 states, including the District of Columbia, applied to Round 2 of Race to the Top.


Only 4 states sat out both rounds of the federal competition: Texas, Alaska, North Dakota and Vermont.


23 states have passed reform laws in hopes of getting a piece of the prize money.

Standards and Assessments


48 states have signed on to the Common Core Standards Initiatives.




Three consortia are competing for the $350 million in Race to the Top funding to develop new tests tied to college and career ready standards that move beyond the crude "fill-in-the-bubble" approaches most states use now.

26 states have joined together to create the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC or Partnership). 


The 26 PARCC states educate over 60 percent of the K-12 students in the United States 


Public Charter Schools


At least 13 states – Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Utah – have altered laws or policies to create or expand the number of public charter schools.


Teacher Quality


5 of the 6 states that had "firewalls" barring student achievement data from being used in teacher evaluations repealed those laws: California, Wisconsin, Nevada, Maine, and Indiana.  (New York simply let its law expire.)


At least 11 states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee – have enacted legislation that requires student achievement data to be used in teacher evaluation or tenure decisions.


 Quotes on Race to the Top


"The ideas have gained currency at the national level …What was seen as bold is now reform, not revolution." - Former Baltimore mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, dean of Howard University's law school, commenting on how the DC contract was part of Race to the Top zeitgeist, June 3, 2010 


"As Superintendent of the largest school district in California, Race to the Top represents an opportunity for California to demonstrate true leadership and a commitment to working collaboratively in the interest of our students." - Ramon C. Cortines, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, June 1, 2010 


"There are strong indications that Race to the Top is headed in the right direction. First, and perhaps most important, the number of states that have applied or expressed their intention to apply suggests that we have taken the first steps toward a national education policy." - Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, United Negro College Fund, March 29, 2010 


 "At a time when our schools are squeezed for money in this difficult economy, this is a remarkable opportunity to help students and teachers by bringing innovative and proven approaches into classrooms. The Department of Education has taken a significant step in giving educators the tools they need to address some of the most serious issues facing schools today." - Attorney Matthew Cregor, Southern Poverty Law SPLC's website, November 24, 2009 

"Race to the Top supports innovation, and too many of our schools are left without the resources needed to implement solid change, especially in our math and science programs." - Phil Brockman, president, Association of Washington School Principals, June 1, 2010


"We need to have our parents and communities rally around their schools, and spread the word across Florida that Race to the Top can provide our schools with additional dollars that can have a lasting impact on our children's learning environment and their future in a global world." - Karen Brown, president, Florida Parent Teacher Association, January 8, 2010 


"We've been very supportive of the [RttT] legislation from beginning. We think it brought real important discussions around key education reforms that we've been advocating for many years... We think it's the right thing to do… We think it's a good thing for California." - Debbie Look, director of legislation, California State PTA, (in a news broadcast for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento), January 12, 2010 


"I think this is bold, I think this is needed, I think this is something we have long advocated for - and so the California NAACP applauds the Governor and President Obama for taking the action necessary for the children by turning around these failing schools." – Alice A. Huffman, President, California State Conference of the NAACP, August 24th, 2009

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Rhee dismisses 241 teachers in the District; Union vows challenge Firings are result of new evaluations

Michelle Rhee didn't waste any time firing the worst 4% of DC's teachers – and putting another 17% on notice.  It will be a great day in America where it's routine (rather than headline news) when ineffective-to-horrific teachers aren't automatically rehired each year:

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announced Friday that she has fired 241 teachers, including 165 who received poor appraisals under a new evaluation system that for the first time holds some educators accountable for students' standardized test scores.

"Every child in a District of Columbia public school has a right to a highly effective teacher -- in every classroom, of every school, of every neighborhood, of every ward, in this City," Rhee said in a statement, announcing the first year of results from the revamped evaluation, known as IMPACT . "That is our commitment. Today . . . we take another step toward making that commitment a reality."

Dismissals for performance are exceedingly rare in D.C. schools -- and in school systems nationwide. Friday's firings mark the beginning of Rhee's bid to make student achievement a high-stakes proposition for teachers, establishing job loss as a possible consequence of poor classroom results.

The Washington Teachers' Union said Friday that it will contest the terminations.


Rhee dismisses 241 teachers in the District; Union vows challenge Firings are result of new evaluations


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Giving Lousy Teachers the Boot

Here's a WSJ column on Rhee's bold action:

The danger, of course, was always that the taxpayers would make good on the money, but the promised accountability would never materialize. In this case, however, the accounting has begun. Apparently Ms. Rhee is a lady who means what she puts her name to.

The same cannot be said for the other side. WTU President George Parker told the Washington Post that the union would appeal the firings—and he threatened to file an unfair labor practice complaint with the District. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, accused Ms. Rhee of "stubbornly adhering to the destructive cycle of 'fire, hire, repeat.'"

Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, a national voice for charters and school choice, says the responses from union leaders show they are not used to dealing with a chancellor willing to call their bluff. "The union has been given so much credit for 'coming to the table,'" she says. "But if you really believe what you signed, you don't then announce to the local paper you are filing a grievance when the other side tries to make good on that contract."

Now, getting good teachers in the classroom and rewarding them for their work has always been a key aim of reformers. Alas, that also requires getting the dead weight out of the classroom and off the payroll. That's not so easy to do in big-city school districts, as reformers like Joel Klein, New York's school chancellor, have found.

So why has Ms. Rhee succeeded where others have come up short? One huge reason is the advance of school choice and accountability throughout Washington. Though reform has come fitfully to D.C., today 38% of the district's students are in charter schools. Until the Democrats killed it, there was also a voucher program for a few thousand more. The result of all this ferment is that the teachers union is feeling pressure it has never felt before.

Maybe that's why, unlike so many in her position, Ms. Rhee has not been afraid to speak up for more choice and more competition. "I'm a huge proponent of choice," she told The Wall Street Journal three years ago, "but I'm also an unbelievably competitive person, and my goal is . . . to create schools within the system that I believe are the most compelling choices."


  • JULY 27, 2010

Giving Lousy Teachers the Boot

Michelle Rhee does the once unthinkable in Washington.


Donald Trump is not the only one who knows how to get attention with the words, "You're fired." Michelle Rhee, chancellor for the District of Columbia schools, has just done a pretty nifty job of it herself.

On Friday, Ms. Rhee fired 241 teachers—roughly 6% of the total—mostly for scoring too low on a teacher evaluation that measures their performance against student achievement. Another 737 teachers and other school-based staff were put on notice that they had been rated "minimally effective." Unless these people improve, they too face the boot.

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When Tenure Trumps Talent

Yet another article – this one in Forbes – about the madness of layoffs purely by seniority:

School districts nationwide are shedding teaching positions. Confronted with massive budget holes, districts face hundreds--or thousands--of layoffs. Clearly, these cuts will be painful for teachers and students alike. But compounding the pain is the fact that seniority, not competence, will largely determine who stays and who goes.

Last-in-first-out policies virtually guarantee that, come next school year, many talented, motivated teachers will be out of a job and some less talented, less motivated teachers will return to the classroom. Both students and teachers will suffer the ill effects of these choices, long after the economy rebounds and staffing levels return to normal.

These effects can be mitigated, but only if teacher unions and management take immediate steps to remedy the simplistic calculus of seniority-based layoffs.

Last-in-first-out was never good policy, but in the current reform climate it could stifle recent gains. In the last decade, many of America's large urban school systems have made improving teacher quality a centerpiece of reform. The result has been an influx of talented and energetic young teachers into traditionally hard-to-staff schools. Now these teachers are first in line for pink slips.


When Tenure Trumps Talent
Forbes, Timothy Knowles, 07.23.10, 12:50 PM ET

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Ambitious New Model for 7 Newark Schools

This looks like more toothless pseudo-reform – no real plans to recruit great teachers or (heaven forbid) get rid of crappy ones.  Newark kids deserve better – and MUCH, MUCH better exists in Newark in the form of KIPP, North Star and Robert Treat charter schools – yet instead we get this (hardly surprising from pseudo reformer Cliff Janey; it will be a great day – hopefully soon – when he is gone):

New Jersey's largest school district will create a special enterprise zone for education in September, bringing together seven low-performing schools for an ambitious program of education and social services provided through a coalition of colleges and community groups led by New York University.

The Newark schools — Central High School and six elementary and middle schools — will be part of a Global Village School Zone stretching across a poor, crime-ridden swath of the city known as the Central Ward. The zone is modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone, a successful network of charter schools and social service programs, and represents the latest in a growing number of partnerships between urban school districts and colleges.

While the Newark zone will remain part of the city's long-troubled school system, which has been under state control since 1995, its schools will be largely freed from district regulations and will be allowed to operate like independent charter schools. Decisions about daily operations and policies will be turned over to committees of principals, teachers, parents, college educators and community leaders, and the schools will be allowed to modify their curriculum to address the needs of students.

"They're going to be functioning as in-district charter schools without calling them that," said Clifford B. Janey, who has been the state-appointed Newark superintendent since 2008. "We're going to give them every opportunity to succeed. We're going to get out of the way when necessary and enable leadership to grow and flourish."



Ambitious New Model for 7 Newark Schools


Published: July 25, 2010

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Failures Prompt a Schools Battle

Lousy superintendents are the norm in America, but reformers are starting to tackle this issue.  Here's the WSJ's Barbara Martinez on a real battle in Jersey City, where reformers have a real shot at ousting the lame incumbent:

A tussle over the Jersey City schools superintendent's $280,000-a-year contract is headed for a showdown involving New Jersey's education commissioner, putting a spotlight on one of the state's most troubled school districts.

Charles Epps has been superintendent for the past 10 years. Twenty-six of his 37 schools failed last year to make "adequate yearly progress," according to federal standards, and one middle school-—where only 32% of children are proficient in English and 25% proficient in math—has fallen short of the federal goal nine years straight.

Late last month, the local school board voted to forgo an outside search for a new superintendent and to begin negotiating a new three-year contract with Mr. Epps. That enraged some local activists, who have filed a petition with the state to overturn the board's vote.

"There's a window of opportunity to stop rewarding failure," said Steven Fulop, a Jersey City council member who is helping to spearhead the opposition. "Nobody in their right mind would rehire someone who has failing performance without even a cursory look at who else is out there." The petition accuses the school board of failing to give 30 days' notice and opportunity for the public to voice their opinions before the vote.


Failures Prompt a Schools Battle


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Alexander Russo on Jay Mathews and Harlem Children's Zone

Per my last email on the Brookings study of the Harlem Children's Zone and its Promise Academy Charter School, Alex Russo disagrees with Jay Mathews's defence:

Far as I can tell, the Washington Post's "Uncle" Jay Mathews gets pretty much everything wrong in this recent blog entry in which Mathews can be found vigorously defending the saintly Geoffrey Canada and the poor helpless Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) against criticisms raised in a slim Brookings report/memo/roundup.

There are four obvious problems with Mathews' hazy defense of the HCZ. Read along and slap me down if you think I've disrespected the master. (I'll leave it to others to praise or damn the Brookings thing, though some of its arguments seem pretty shaky, too.):


Alexander Russo on Jay Mathews and Harlem Children's Zone

What better way to spice up a hot July day than to stir up a fight over education? So here is Alexander Russo taking on my colleague Jay Mathews, the dean of education reporters, and his latest post on his Class Struggle blog in which he criticizes criticism of the Harlem Children's Zone. Russo is a former Democratic Senate aide, who frequently criticizes Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and many others in his "This Week In Education" blog. And after you read this, you can go back to Jay's blog and read his response.

By Alexander Russo

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Alexander Russo hits me hard on Harlem Children's Zone

 Mathews responds:

On my colleague Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet blog you will find a good post from one of my favorite bloggers, Alexander Russo, ripping into me for inadequacies in my analysis of the new Brookings Institution critique of the Harlem Children's Zone and its premier charter school, the Promise Academy.

I plead no contest. Alexander is right that I should have mentioned his deep coverage of, and doubts about, HCZ. I was trying to keep the length of my post under reasonable limits, since I am about to dump a couple of 2,000-word posts on our intrepid universal desk and then dash off on vacation. I wanted to be loved. That always gets you into trouble.


Alexander Russo hits me hard on Harlem Children's Zone 

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Study: Is Promise Academy a 'Middling' Charter?

An Ed Week blog post on the Brookings study:

"The inescapable conclusion is that HCZ Promise Academy is a middling charter school," the analysis concludes. "If other charter schools generate outcomes that are superior to those of the HCZ and those charter schools are not embedded in broad neighborhood improvement programs, why should we think that a neighborhood approach is superior to a schools-only approach?"

From a public policy perspective, It would be far less expensive to focus solely on making the schools themselves the best they can be, according to Whitehurst.

There are a couple of points to keep in mind here, though. One, as I mentioned earlier, is that this methodology is not quite as rigorous as a randomized study, which would have been difficult to do given this particular data set. The second point is that the competition for the Promise Academy was pretty stiff in this study. At least two studies so far have found that New York City's charters tend to outperform its regular public schools. And the mix of charter schools in this analysis includes three middle schools associated with the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, which calls for a longer school day, a longer school year, and even some Saturday classes.

These findings, of course, are counterintuitive. And my guess is that they will raise some hackles among HCZ supporters, who are legion. I invite them to share (or vent) their thoughts here.


Study: Is Promise Academy a 'Middling' Charter?

Debra Viadero| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks 

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Many States Adopt National Standards for Their Schools

A cover story in today's NY Times on the AMAZING news that 39 states have adopted (or will soon adopt) common standards (DON'T SAY "NATIONAL" STANDARDS – it freaks some people out).  Arne Duncan is right – this IS a game-changer – assuming that it really happens (there's lots of execution risk – see next article):

Less than two months after the nation's governors and state school chiefs released their final recommendations for national education standards, 27 states have adopted them and about a dozen more are expected to do so in the next two weeks.

Their support has surprised many in education circles, given states' long tradition of insisting on retaining local control over curriculum.

The quick adoption of common standards for what students should learn in English and math each year from kindergarten through high school is attributable in part to the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition. States that adopt the standards by Aug. 2 win points in the competition for a share of the $3.4 billion to be awarded in September.

"I'm ecstatic," said Arne Duncan, the secretary of education. "This has been the third rail of education, and the fact that you're now seeing half the nation decide that it's the right thing to do is a game-changer."


Many States Adopt National Standards for Their Schools



Published: July 21, 2010

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State Faces Challenges in Implementing Common Core Standards

Here's an article from NJ about the difficulty states will face executing on the common standards (with a nice quote from DFER's Charles Barone):


When the state Board of Education signed on to the new national standards for language arts and math last month, it joined what is now 24 other states setting a single milestone for what every child should be taught in school and when.


But the real work has only just begun, as the vote set off a flurry of activity for the state to next develop a matching "model curriculum" for schools to follow and move toward new state assessments, both short- and long-term.

… "Standards aren't going to mean much unless you measure everyone in the same way," said Charles Barone, a policy analyst for the Democrats for Education Reform, a New York-based group now with a branch in New Jersey.

"Otherwise, it just sits on a shelf in Trenton, while some students continue to be asked to achieve at one level and others at another," he said.


State Faces Challenges in Implementing Common Core Standards

Signing on was just the start. Next up for NJ: developing a matching model curriculum

 By John Mooney, July 21

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