NSBA Raises Concerns Tying Title I Funding to Standards Development

Statement by Anne L. Bryant

Executive Director, National School Boards Association

Alexandria, Va., – February 22, 2010 – NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant raised serious questions and concerns today over the federal government’s role in education in response to President Barack Obama’s proposal to condition a state’s eligibility for Title I funds and several competitive grant programs to its method for adopting academic standards. The proposal would require a state to either join other states in developing common standards or have its higher education community certify that its standards are at a sufficient level for students to be college and career ready. {Read more here}

Will Education Standards Really Help Failing Schools?

Posted By Lindsey Burke On February 26, 2010

President Obama’s proposal Monday to link Title I funding to adoption of education standards has the education world abuzz. During a speech [2] to the National Governor’s Association, President Obama stated:

I want to commend all of you for acting collectively through the National Governors Association to develop common standards that will better position our students for success.and today, I’m announcing steps to encourage and support all states to transition to college and career-ready standards on behalf of America’s students… {Read more here}

Critics: Standards push threatens ed gains

By Matt Murphy
Updated: 02/06/2010 10:03:43 AM EST

BOSTON — The effort to write a set of national academic standards for public schools has put Massachusetts in a delicate position. The state has considerably less to gain than other states around the country, but potentially a lot to lose.

Caught between wanting to participate in the process while protecting the high benchmarks already set for Massachusetts students, education officials insist they will settle for nothing less than the rigorous curriculum already in place. {Read more here}

Threat to education

The Lowell Sun

Updated: 02/10/2010 08:16:31 AM EST

The push for a set of national academic standards for public schools would make sense, if some states — including Massachusetts — weren’t already exceeding the anticipated federal guidelines.

At this point, only a first draft has been completed, but some education experts have termed the proposed standards “weak” and “generic.” One nationally known standards expert said the first draft has “nowhere near the best sets of standards in the country…”
Not for one moment should Massachusetts consider lowering its academic standards in hopes it will curry favor with the Obama administration and increase the likelihood of scoring additional federal grants. What good would that do if the state is required to adhere to lower standards? {Read more here}

Why one-size-fits-all education doesn’t work

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | March 6, 2010

MASSACHUSETTS AND Rhode Island were two of the 16 finalists named this week in the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top’’ competition for a share of $4.3 billion in education “stimulus’’ funds. Those that made the cut have agreed to embrace policies favored by the administration, such as higher caps on charter schools and tying teachers’ raises to performance.

Central to the administration’s approach to education is its drive for uniform national standards in reading and mathematics. The White House announced that it intends to “require all states to adopt and certify that they have college- and career-ready standards . . . as a condition of qualifying for Title I funding.’’ Education Secretary Arne Duncan has reserved $350 million to assist states that consent to common curriculum standards; those that don’t will be barred from seeking Race to the Top grants.
{Read more here}

New Analyses Find Common Standards Lacking

By Catherine Gewertz on February 23, 2010 3:35 PM

President Obama wants to tie Title I aid to states’ adoption of the common standards, as you already know from reading our story. But a couple of new reports are out today claiming that several states would have more to lose than to gain by adopting them.
One study comes from the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research in Massachusetts. The institute compared the September and January drafts of the common standards with the state standards in Massachusetts and California. The study concludes that the common standards will not ensure that students are college-ready in math or English/language arts. {Read more here}

Draft Common Standards Elicit Kudos and Criticism

By Catherine Gewertz

The first public draft of grade-by-grade common standards was released last week to a mix of praise and skepticism, illustrating both the mounting consensus that the country needs to set higher expectations for all students and the many problems that complicate their adoption. {Read more here}