Duncan Lauds State Standards Initiative

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Secretary Arne Duncan praised an effort announced today to create common core state standards in math and language arts. “This is a giant step,” he said of the initiative, which includes 46 states and 3 territories and is being led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Why is this effort so important? Here’s what Duncan said three days ago at the National Press Club:

“What we have had as a country…[is] a race to the bottom. We have 50 different standards, 50 different goal posts. And due to political pressure, those have been dumbed down….”

“When children are told they are ‘meeting a state standard,’ the logical assumption for that child or for that parent is to think they are on-track to be successful. But because these standards have been dummied down and lowered so much in so many places, when a child is ‘meeting the state standard’ they are in fact barely able to graduate from high school. And they are absolutely inadequately prepared to go to a competitive university, let alone graduate.

“And so we have to stop lying to children. We have to tell them the truth. We have to be transparent about our data. We have to raise the bar so that every child knows on every step of their educational trajectory what they’re going to do.”

See additional excerpts from his remarks at the National Press Club, or watch the video of the full speech. See the press release from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers on the Common Core State Standards Initiative.