By Johnny Jackson
Local school officials said they are pleased with the idea of implementing universal standards in K-12 education across the nation.
The National Governors Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, released its first public draft of proposed standards for K-12 English language arts and mathematics, earlier this week.
Officials said the standards are part of the state-led Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) -- co-chaired by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue -- to provide a common, K-12 curriculum base for 48 of the nation's states, and two of its territories, as well as the District of Columbia.
While the proposed curriculum is still being reviewed by educators throughout Georgia, local school officials are lauding the idea of creating some universal standards in education.
"The academic and administrative leadership in the district is in support of the idea of developing state-to-state standards," said Charles White, spokesman for Clayton County Schools.
"It is our opinion that by developing and implementing state-to-state standards, it levels the playing field, so that students everywhere have an equal opportunity to receive a quality education," White added.
Currently, states operate with different standards and are unable to accurately compare academic data state-by-state.
"Georgia has developed rigorous standards that are as good as any in the nation," said Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox, in a written statement Wednesday. "The Common Core will allow us to accurately compare our students' achievement with our neighboring states."
The standards, according to the National Governor's Association, should also provide a more consistent framework to prepare students for college and the workforce, by defining the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 educational careers.
"Common education standards, and assessments aligned to those standards, are in the best interest of both Georgia and the nation," said Gov. Perdue, in a statement released Wednesday. "They will allow for an authentic, credible scoreboard that tells us how we are doing compared to students in other states."
"In the 21st Century, Georgia is competing on a national and international stage," added State School Board Chairperson Wanda Barrs. "It only makes sense that all states have common standards to strive for, and compare themselves against."
The proposed Common Core curriculum can be viewed at the Core Standards web site, at www.corestandards.org.