« Ensuring Quality Curriculum for Common Standards | Main | Federal 'i3' Competition Attracts Lots of Ideas to Improve Ed. »

Common-Standards Watch: Tally Reaches 20

Rhode Island adopted the common standards yesterday, according to department of education spokeswoman Nicole Shaffer, and Mississippi adopted them also, according to this newsletter from schools Superintendent Tom Burnham. (The memo doesn't give a date, but items 9 and 10 from the board's June 25 agenda reflect that the matter was up for consideration.) That brings the number of common-standards states to 20.

Why did it take us a week to find out that Mississippi had adopted? Good question. Not every state is quickly publicizing their adoption of the common standards. There could be many reasons for this, including a shortage of manpower in departments of education and a dwindling number of journalists covering education.

Still, I confess to a measure of surprise—perhaps naive surprise, but surprise nonetheless—that adoption of the common standards wouldn't be considered a high-priority news item to disseminate from the state level to the public.

When I was trying to confirm Mississippi's adoption, it was too early for any sane person to be at their desks at the department of ed. So I left messages, sent e-mails, and started traipsing around the Internet. I found nothing. So I was particularly grateful to know about the Burnham newsletter. In the case of Rhode Island, I knew in advance that the item was on the board's agenda, so I arranged last night to find out what had happened. But had I not known in advance, it would have been tough to find out this morning from searching the Internet.

All of this begs the question of why states aren't putting a higher profile on their adoptions. The Education Writers Association's Linda Perlstein has theorized that there is little press on the common standards because "standards are boring" to most beat reporters. The ASCD's David Griffith touches on this and shares his own theory in a post that's worth a read. (A follow-up note on Griffith's reference to my "mystery state" blog post: I did blog again on that with the not-very-juicy answer to that mystery, and it has to do with insufficient manpower. Read it here.)

In the meantime, please chime in with your thoughts on the public-information piece of this. Am I hopelessly, irretrievably misguided to think that a state's move to adopt new academic standards is important enough to warrant significant and timely publicity at the state level?

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Linda: My problem with homework is they give too much and read more
  • Seo Article Writer: Hello I just see your site when I am searching read more
  • Car Insurance Guy: Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. read more
  • cyptoreopully: Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im read more
  • Connie Wms: Good grief. We have gone round and round forever with read more