Now, the Christian Science Monitor reports:
Most developed countries have one: a national set of education standards for students. The United States has long been the exception, letting the states set their own bars – some high, some low – for student achievement.
But the US looks to be on the verge of change, and, somewhat surprisingly, states themselves are leading the way toward a uniform measurement.
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the so-called Common Core standards, which were released in the spring. Several more were poised to do so by early August. Some 40 states are likely to have signed on by next spring.
Why the rush to embrace the common standards? Education Week notes in this recent article:
The $4 billion federal Race to the Top contest gives more points to states that meet that deadline…
[States] tried to boost their chances of winning a slice of the federal reform pie by enacting laws that raised charter school caps, established performance-based teacher-evaluation systems, and embraced other measures favored by the U.S. Department of Education, which is awarding the competitive grants. Likewise, some states went out of their way to adopt the standards by Aug. 2 for maximum Race to the Top points.