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On February 23, 2010, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Governors Association winter meeting about the Obama Administration’s education agenda. According to the Department of Education, Duncan praised governors for their leadership and participation in a 48-state effort to raise standards on a voluntary basis.

Duncan also discussed rewarding, encouraging and learning from high-performing schools. He also mentioned the importance of turning around low-performing schools. The meeting ended with a question and answer session. Watch the video of the 2010 National Governors Association Meeting and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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Today, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation issued a new report containing its grade for the recently released ‘Common Core’ academic standards by The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (CBP) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSCO). The think tank gave the academic standards a grade of B in both language arts and mathematics. The foundation evaluated the common core standards on two-point scales that focused on “content and rigor” and “clarity and specificity.”

 When compared to other international and national academic standards, The ‘Common Core’ standards received one of the highest grades from the foundation. The other national and international academic standards were released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Here is a break down of the grades earned from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation:

  • Common Core Reading/Writing/Speaking/Listening: B
  • Common Core Mathematics: B
  • NAEP Reading: B and NAEP Writing: B
  • NAEP Mathematics: C
  • TIMSS Mathematics: A
  • PISA Mathematics: D
  • PISA Reading: D

 Read the report and tell us what you think about the foundation’s evaluation of the ‘Common Core’ academic standards? Let NSSEA know your thoughts!

 For more information about the new report, visit: http://edexcellence.net/doc/20091008_NationalStandards.pdf.

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An updated draft of common core standards was released today in efforts to set academic standards for determining college and career readiness in math and language arts for students across the nation.

 The two organizations leading the common core effort are the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) through their Center of Best Practices. Forty-eight states are participating in the common core effort. The goal is to ultimately establish uniform academic standards.

 The main difference between the two drafts is the section that pertains to language arts. The earlier draft, which leaked in mid July, was reorganized by CCSSO and NGA because they felt that aspect of the draft needed much improvement.

 The authors were having a hard time agreeing on whether the standards were too strict or not strict enough. They also wanted the draft to be very user friendly, meaning they wanted the draft to make sense to parents, teacher and the general.

 The language arts portion of the draft is broken into three sections. Section I begins by defining different skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening. Section II takes it a step further by giving examples on how these skills can be applied to real life situations; for example conducting research and using various media.

 The third section gives supporting materials or illustrative texts to improve the learning experience such as the Declaration of Independence. The new draft also includes passages from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice; Walt Whitman’s poem “O Captain! My Captain”; the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”; Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel lecture; and many other business, science, and financial texts; and other materials.

 For more information about the revised draft, visit: http://www.corestandards.org/Standards/index.htm

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