The Push for National Standards: What Parents Need to Know (page 2)

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Updated on Oct 5, 2010

Instead, the NGA, CCSSO and education experts focused on the best available evidence for what works in education, from Finland and Japan to California and Massachusetts. "This process was guided by taking advantage of the best available evidence," he said.

Armando Vilaseca, Vermont's Commissioner of Education, said he's excited about the new standards. "This sets a high bar for all the states," he said. "It's high time we got together as a nation and came up with standards across the country."

Linn and Kapunis said it probably will be 2 to 3 years until the standards are in place in schools across the country. There's plenty of work to be done first: adopting the standards, creating assessments, or testing, to match the new standards, then implementing those standards by revising and creating curriculum that will lead students toward the new goals.

While drafting assessments that are more than memorization drills will be challenging, Linn said implementing the standards will truly be demanding. "We are talking about changing what goes on in classrooms," Linn said. "And we're not just talking about a few hundred kids but hundreds of thousands of kids. If we thought adopting the standards was the hard part, we are in for a long, long haul."

As the process toward new standards continues, parents can play an important role, Linn and Kapinus said.

  • Read the standards and offer feedback. The standards are available at and anyone can fill out a survey to leave comments and suggestions.
  • Get involved on the state level. After the comment period, most states will take time to consider adopting the standards. Whether it's your state Board of Education of state Legislature, make your opinion known.
  • Volunteer at your kid's school. Be a part of your school or district's effort to implement the new standards. "Parents need to push for an education system that doesn't expect everyone to master content the same way and expect everyone to move along through the curriculum at the same pace. We all have strengths and weaknesses," Linn said. The educational system needs to recognize that.


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