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What is the State Standards Initiative?

What is the State Standards Initiative?

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - December 26th, 2014

state standards intiative

The State Standards Initiative has one main goal: producing better-educated high school graduates. Parents of school age children have been worried about this exam in recent years as another standardized testing battery appeared on students’ radar.

How the Initiative Came to Be

The State Standards Initiative is the result of a collaboration between the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA). The Initiative was also helped along the way and promoted by educators and academic authorities across the country.

The State Standards Initiative is a set of criteria which its creators hope will be adopted by all US states. The criteria set forth an agreed-upon list of education and learning standards by which all students can be measured. The Initiative has nothing to do with advanced placement classes or gifted programs, as many other standardized tests do. Instead, the initiatives aim to produce high school graduates who are proven to have learned the skills vital to success in the environments of both higher education and the workforce. You can read more about the PTA’s stance on the Initiative at

What the Initiative Entails

There are five main subjects on which the State Standards Initiative has chosen to focus. These are English-language skills such as reading, grammar, literacy and others; history, science, math and social studies. In some schools or states, history and social studies are regarded as essentially the same subject, with very fine lines separating the two fields.

Focusing on these subjects will hopefully ensure that the US stops graduating students who do not possess the basic skills necessary for surviving and thriving in the ‘real world’ after high school. For many years, it has been a national concern that high school graduates are under-educated. We often assume that a diploma automatically means a student is ready for life in the real world, but unfortunately this is often untrue. Many students are advanced through grade levels without having fully grasped the subjects taught, leaving them faced with a looming graduation and an inadequate education.

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