Source
Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

One Nation, One Test

When President George Bush’s State of the Union speech and proposed budget for next year were rolled out in January and early February, national standards and tests went unmentioned. But that hasn’t stopped proponents from pushing the issue harder—and more successfully—than any time in the past 10 years.

A series of reports and studies has shown that state testing standards vary widely from state to state. A report from Stateline.org recently shed light on states with NCLB pass rates, based on state tests, that varied from 38 percent (South Carolina) to 92 percent (Maine, North Dakota). Most of these state tests are set much lower than the National Education Assessment Program, the nation’s report card.

A bipartisan group of education organizations, along with Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI), kicked off the new Congress by introducing legislation that would fund the creation of new standards and pave the way for national tests. “The country is on an inexorable march toward national education standards,” said Michael Dannenberg of the New America Foundation, one of the key proponents of the change.

What remains unclear, however, is whether the nation can finally double-time its way past the practical and ideological roadblocks that have halted it or if it will return to the slow, intermittent march of the past 20 years.

Ten years ago, President Bill Clinton proposed the creation of voluntary national tests in reading and math, but congressional Republicans who worried about federal involvement in local decisions, and others who were apprehensive about its impact on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), stopped the initiative.

This latest proposal, touted by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and the centrist New America Foundation, does its best to avoid as many past pitfalls as possible. It focuses on science and math standards, leaving out the controversies of English and language arts. It calls for creating voluntary national standards—as opposed to tests—and gives states grants for adopting them. Several obstacles remain, according to Kevin Kosar, author of a book about the national standards movement. These include lack of sufficient funding to encourage states to adopt the new standards and renewed controversies surrounding evolution and creationism in science.

Others have pointed out that the U.S. already has national standards in the content areas, so creating new ones would not accomplish much. Standards and testing have also taken a beating during the past few years, through NCLB and various testing snafus.  Meanwhile, a consortium of states is working together to develop common standards and tests that might be the nucleus of grassroots national standards.

In the meantime, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said she “might be willing” to look at a national standards proposal. The House and Senate proposals have begun to pick up cosponsors.

In the end, however, the main obstacles may be the oldest ones. “Republicans don’t like the word national,” Checker Finn of the Fordham Foundation (which is now fighting to get them adopted) quipped back in 1997, “and Democrats don’t like the word test.”

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 6

    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 6

    Support the national framework in education with high-quality children's literature and activities.

    Connect independent reading to the
    Common Core State Standards for ELA (K–8) with rich selections of fiction and nonfiction. Includes: 80 books (60 titles; 1 copy each; 4 titles; 5 copies each), Teaching Guide, bins, title list correlated to standards.

    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Common Core State Standard Collection Guide
    • Amelia Earhart
    • American Tall Tales
    • Among the Hidden
    • Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
    • Becoming Naomi León
    • Black Eagles
    • Black Star, Bright Dawn
    • Blizzard!
    • The Brain
    • The Circuit
    • City of Orphans
    • The Cod's Tale
    • Countdown
    • Crash
    • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    • Dragonwings*
    • Eleven
    • The Emperor's Silent Army
    • Esperanza Rising
    • Everything Ancient Egypt
    • Everything Money
    • An Eye for Color
    • George vs. George*
    • The Girl Who Could Fly
    • The Golden Goblet
    • The Great Fire
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    • Hydrofracking
    • Island of the Blue Dolphins
    • Johnny Tremain
    • Julie of the Wolves
    • Julius Caesar
    • Langston Hughes
    • The Lightning Thief*
    • The Lions of Little Rock
    • Moon Over Manifest
    • My Side of the Mountain
    • Mythlopedia: Oh My Gods!
    • No More Dead Dogs
    • Old Yeller
    • Our World of Mysteries
    • The Phantom Tollbooth, A Play in Two Acts
    • The Phantom Tollbooth
    • Portraits of African-American Heroes
    • Rascal
    • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry*
    • The Secret Agent
    • Seeing Earth From Space
    • Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time
    • Through My Eyes
    • True Stories of Amazing Courage
    • Two Miserable Presidents
    • Two Tickets to Freedom
    • Wacky Trees
    • The Westing Game
    • Where the Red Fern Grows
    • Who Wants Pizza?
    • Winslow Homer
    • The Wonder of Charlie Anne
    • World of Plants
    • A Wrinkle in Time
    • You Can Save the Planet





    * Titles may contain language or content considered inappropriate for younger readers.

    $439.00 You save: 32%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grade 6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 6
    Grade 6 $439.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade K

    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade K

    Support the national framework in education with high-quality children's literature and activities.

    Connect independent reading to the
    Common Core State Standards for ELA (K–8) with rich selections of fiction and nonfiction. Includes: 80 books (60 titles; 1 copy each; 4 titles; 5 copies each), Teaching Guide, bins, title list correlated to standards, and two audio books (CDs) for K–5 collections.

    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Common Core State Standard Collection Guide
    • ABCDrive!
    • Alphabet Under Construction
    • Baby Animals Learn
    • Big and Little
    • Birds
    • The Busy Body Book
    • Caps for Sale
    • The Carrot Seed
    • A Cat and a Dog / Un gato y un perro
    • Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3
    • Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 (Audio CD)
    • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    • Clap Your Hands
    • Click, Clack, Moo
    • Click, Clack, Splish, Splash
    • Cookie's Week
    • Corduroy
    • Corduroy (Audio CD)
    • The Cow That Went Oink
    • Each Peach Pear Plum
    • Eat Your Colors
    • Eating the Alphabet
    • Exercise
    • Farm Alphabet Book
    • Feast for 10
    • Feeling Thankful
    • Flower Garden
    • Flowers Have Colors
    • A Good Night Walk
    • The Greatest Gymnast of All
    • Growing Vegetable Soup
    • Guess Whose Shadow?
    • Happy Birthday, Moon
    • How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
    • I Am an Apple
    • I Read Signs
    • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
    • If You Were a Penguin
    • Is Your Mama a Llama?
    • Let's Find Out About Ice Cream
    • Little Bear
    • LMNO Peas
    • LRFO: Starfish
    • Me Too!
    • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
    • My Five Senses
    • My House
    • Nat Geo: Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie
    • Over in the Meadow
    • Owl at Home
    • Pancakes for Breakfast
    • Q Is for Duck
    • Rooster's Off to See the World
    • Rosie's Walk
    • School Bus
    • Shades of People
    • The Shape of Things
    • Ten Black Dots
    • Too Many Frogs
    • Truck
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    • We Can!
    • What Do You See?
    • What Is a Reptile?
    • White Rabbit's Color Book
    • Wonderful Worms

    $339.00 You save: 35%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grade K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade K
    Grade K $339.00
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR NAME

* YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

* RECIPIENT'S EMAIL ADDRESS(ES)

(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.

INCLUDE A PERSONAL MESSAGE (Optional)


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.