Michael Johnston -- National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for students in Years 1-8 are now in their third year of implementation, and Fairfax Media recently published data facilitating the comparison of schools on the performance of their students against the standards. The Ministry of Education has also published National Standards data.
Children who attend high-quality pre-kindergarten programs are more likely to graduate from high school, says a new report that calls on states and communities to build an aligned system to support early childhood learning and kindergarten programs.
Australia's biggest education union has decided to go ahead with its threatened boycott of next month's national literacy and numeracy tests. The Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, is equally adamant the exam will take place.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Marcus Winters -- "States' low standards have spurred a bipartisan campaign to create worthwhile national ones. But the road to national standards would be extremely tough to navigate politically. A more feasible approach would be to give all states an incentive to set objectively high standards themselves. The looming reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act gives us an opportunity to do it."
A respected literacy-research organization is asking that a process be put in place to make more transparent potential conflicts of interest that writers of the common national academic standards might have, and to address them.
As they wait to see how the latest push for common national standards plays out, some states are putting off or slowing the revision of their own academic standards to avoid wasted effort and spending.
Oklahoman Editorial -- "Nobody paying attention to education in Oklahoma should be surprised by a new report’s findings that our expectations for students on state-mandated tests are relatively low compared with academic tests in most other states."
As 48 states charge ahead with plans to adopt common academic standards, the U.S. Department of Education will enlist experts and the public to help design a $350 million competition for the next step: the development of common tests.
BoardBuzz -- "In you haven’t heard, the latest NAEP math scores were released yesterday. Overall, results were not all that positive. Our nation’s eighth graders improved their performance from 2007 to 2009 but scores were flat for fourth graders. Most disappointing was the fact that achievement gaps between minority students and their white peers haven’t narrowed either."