States adopt Common Core Standards — education beat reporters and the public not following the story

Map from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

I was skimming the e-mailed Education Week and spotted this headline — “Common Standards Watch: Tally Reaches 20.”

That’s almost half the states in the country have adopted the proposed national standards. Where have I been that I’ve missed hearing and reading about the adoption rate?

I know I haven’t been in high school faculty meetings or faculty lounges, but I was surprised that I wasn’t more aware of the momentum this initiative has.

Catherine Gewertz’s blog helped me feel better, as she, too, was wondering why states don’t make the adoption a major announcement to the public and to the news media and why the media isn’t providing more coverage.

Gewertz refers to Education Writers Association’s Linda Perlstein, who has said that she thinks common standards haven’t gotten more coverage because “standards are boring.”

Having read Perlstein’s Tested: One Amercian School Struggles to Make the Grade, I know that she really understands how schools work. She spent a year in an elementary school to learn more about the impact of standardized testing on teaching and learning.

She goes on to say that standards are more like “wallpaper”  and aren’t the kind of stories that education beat reporters are interested in writing about — and are such a big topic that is very abstract.

But I’d say the same about so many of the big issues that the country has faced lately. The collapse of the housing market, the misdealings on Wall Street, and nataional health care reform are just some of the big issues that suddenly surprised most of the public. The business, finance and health beat reporters just seemed to find those stories too abstract and too boring for the average media consumer until the topics were almost at a crisis level.

I’m not saying that national curriculum standards are of the same level of impact as those other issues. However, national Common Core Standards are a huge change for K-12 education, which has been guided by state and local curriculum standards, policies and testing.

Common Core Standards will lead to mandated national testing — moving from the state-to-state testing standards that have created controversy and have been very costly to implement.

Common Core Standards also identify for parents, the community, school boards, state legislators, teachers and students what is perceived as really important  in terms of the curriculum and what areas are more marginal.

As somone who is concerned about journalism education, I see Common Core Standards as continuing the No Child Left Behind standards that has journaism classes eliminated from the curriculum and student media becoming an after-school activity.

Both Gewertz and Perlstein linked to ASCD’s David Griffith’s story about the states adoping the Common Core Standards, complete with a map.

So has your state adopted the Common Core Standards? And, if so, how will that affect K-12 and highed education in your state?

2 comments

  1. […] answer to that last question might come sooner than we think as the number of states adopting core national standards continues to grow.  As a newer teacher (two years), I’m concerned that not all of the goals (and standards) […]

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  2. […] reading for high schoolers) published a different question that in a way relates to issue of academic standards.  The blogger wondered how journalists, specifically those assigned to cover education, had […]

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