VA Bd of Ed Reaffirms Support for SOLs; Opposes Imposition of National Standards

Board of Education Reaffirms Support for SOLs; Opposes Imposition of National Standards

Joining Alaska and Texas, Virginia refused to adopt the Common Core Academic Standards word for word as doing so would require the state to lower its academic standards.  Participation in the initiative to implement common national academic standards, know as the Common Core State Standards Initiative, requires states to agree to adopt at least 85% of the K-12  standards written by the CCSSI word for word.  Again joining Alaska and Texas, Virginia has refused to join one the state coalitions in developing assessments to accompany the Common Core standards.

The final K-12 Common Core Math and English Standards were recently released; K-12 History and Science standards will be developed in the near future.

Contrary to how the Common Core Standards have been marketed to states, with the requirement that states adopt the Common Core Standards word for word and mandated assessments to gauge how well students have learned those standards, these standards define what your children will and will not learn.  As we’ve seen with Texas and California standards, textbooks are developed to meet the expectations of the largest market. That means that in the coming years, textbooks and other instructional materials will be developed to align with the Common Core Standards.

The Common Core Standards will be the ceiling, not the floor, and they don’t rise to the level of Virginia’s only slightly better than average standards.

We agree that establishing a set of minimum grade level, subject specific academic standards is an important step if we are to reverse the decades of decline in the performance of American students. Word for word adoption of the Common Core Standards makes achieving this goal impossible as states will be prohibited from exceeding the Common Core.

We commend the Virginia Board of Education and the Governor for taking this bold step and standing behind Virginia’s students. We can only hope that more states take a similar stand.

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2 Responses to “VA Bd of Ed Reaffirms Support for SOLs; Opposes Imposition of National Standards”

  1. Jackie H Says:

    Have any real math professionals (not the so-called math school of ed folks) weighed in on how VA’s revised ’09 Math standards compare to 2001’s?

    The Fordham Institute & Dave Klein, et al., issued a comprehensive review back in 2005 and graded VA a “C”. They cite numerous deficiencies such as: heavy reliance on calculators, algorithms not emphasized, distorted development, etc. See, http://www.edexcellence.net/detail/news.cfm?news_id=338&pubsubid=1188#1188

    Note ~ VA received a B in 1998 and 2000, respectively. Although the Common Core standards may pale in comparison to VA’s (& I’m relieved VA has refused (thus far) to adopt them)), I’m concerned that VA will further dumb-down their standards/testing. We shall see…

    In the interim, today I sent an inquiry to the Fordham Institute. Perhaps a review of the ’09 standards are underway or forthcoming. Then again, it’s all about the CCSSI these days, so I trust Fordham has been in over their head on that front.

    I’ll post if Fordham responds to our inquiry.

  2. Jackie H Says:

    Fordham published their analysis today ~ comparing the current state standards to the Common Core. They do not specify whether the analysis is that of our 2001 or 2009 revised math standards. Again, I’ve sent them a note requesting clarification.

    I had thought VA standards were superior to the CCSS draft ~ according to Fordham, here’s the bottom line:
    “With their grade of C, Virginia’s mathematics standards are mediocre, while those developed by the Common Core
    State Standards Initiative earn an impressive A-minus. The CCSS math standards are significantly superior to what Old
    Dominion has in place today.”

    http://edexcellence.net/201007_state_education_standards_common_standards/Virginia.pdf [math standards p.4]


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