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Groups Aim for Internationally Tested Standards

When Congress convened last year, prominent Democrats introduced plans that would nationalize standards. Most would reward states for linking their standards to the achievement level of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The goal would be to entice states to increase the rigor of their standards. (See Standards Get Boost on the Hill.)

Even though those bills haven't made any progress, state groups are examining ways to beef up their standards, Michele McNeil (aka MM of Campaign K-12) reports in Benchmarks Momentum on Increase. The groups are considering a variety of efforts to upgrade their expectations, mostly by comparing individual states' expectations and student achievement with international test scores. The groups are looking at other countries because state leaders say they need to know whether the United States expects enough of their students.

"What if those standards are not aligned with the best-performing systems in the world?" Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, asks of an ongoing effort to identify the common elements of states' standards.

Other stories of interest in the March 12, 2008, issue of Education Week:

Insights Gained Into Arts and Smarts
Kentucky Lawmakers Take Aim at State Tests
Directors of 'Reading First' Plagued by Anxiety Over Budget Cuts

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