Friday, June 05, 2009

PreK-3rd Education Advocacy Groups

I just listened to a very nicely done YouTube video by Christina Satkowski done earlier this week. She is part of the New America Foundation, a group that I had not previously heard of. I found them through the Foundation for Child Development, another group that I had not previously been aware of.

States agree to share standards: huge shift

Forty-Nine States and Territories Join Common Core State Standards Initiative

The Council of Chief State School Officers - CCSSO - led a Process to Develop Common English-language arts and Mathematics Standards. This was announced last week. It's amazing. Who would have thunk that the previously independent-minded states would sign up for a common set of standards? It's collaborative, it's efficient, it's sensible and it's about time. Bravo!

And I quote the release:

By signing on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, governors and state commissioners of education across the country are committing to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards will be research and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills.

“To maintain America’s competitive edge, we need all of our students to be prepared and ready to compete with students from around the world,” said NGA Vice Chair Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas. “Common standards that allow us to internationally benchmark our students’ performance with other top countries have the potential to bring about a real and meaningful transformation of our education system to the benefit of all Americans.”

This means no more armies of people redefining the educational standards at each state level. No more need for state specific textbooks. An ability to use common tests around the country and compare results. But wait, there's more:

- They are likely to include science. Maybe social studies too.
- They are likely to include preschool.

- They are likely to define benchmarks that are observable and measurable!
- They are likely to remain consistent with international norms such as the international bac.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

an online alternative to cancelled summer school classes

This creates a lot of opportunity for innovative education a la homeschooling and the private sector. Tis indeed an ill wind....

June 5, 2009 -, a top-rated online education software company, offers California parents an online alternative to cancelled summer school classes caused by the State budget deficit. provides award-winning, online Pre School to 12th grade education curriculum.

According to John Edelson, Founder and President of Time4Learning, “The summer is a critical time for many students to catch up or advance their skills. The cancellation of summer classes by the State of California has created a large gap in the ability to do this affordably for many families and the Internet is a great alternative.”