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Goals of the State Standards Initiative
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - September 24th, 2014
The ELA Common Core test battery is the result of the State Standards Initiative. This initiative has several goals and is a joint effort of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGO).
In the broadest terms, the State Standards Initiative is an effort to bring some universal standards of education into play. By creating a set of standards, and having the education officials of each state adopt them voluntarily, it is hoped that students will graduate high school – and advance through each grade – with a country-wide set of established skills appropriate for their age.
For many years the country has been faced with high school graduates who, despite having gone through the same amount of schooling, are far behind their peers. English skills are of particular concern. Many students graduating high school have been found to possess reading, writing and other English skills which are far below the expected averages for their age.
The State Standards Initiative attempts to correct this issue and to better prepare students for life beyond graduation, whether they choose to attend college or go directly into the work force. The test battery assesses English skills at every grade level, which has the potential to identify areas for improvement before a student has the chance to ‘slip through the cracks.’ By identifying, targeting and improving these areas, a more uniform standard of grade advancement can be implemented.
Not Ready for the World
The State Standards Initiative, when properly implemented, will give students a better chance in the ‘real world’ after graduation. Several studies have noted that many high school graduates possess skills and knowledge which fall short of what colleges and potential employers expect.
As a nation, we’ve come to believe that a diploma automatically prepares a student for the next phase in their life, whether that phase involves college or career. However, a disturbingly large proportion of graduates have, somehow, failed to learn some very basic skills while still advancing through grades and obtaining a diploma. By adopting the State Standards Initiative, it is hoped that this phenomenon can be stopped and that the country can begin to ensure each high school graduate is fully prepared to take the next step toward employment or higher education. For more information on the State Standards Initiative, you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative.