Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maryland endorses core standards for public schools

By Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maryland on Tuesday became one of the first states to endorse academic standards that are part of a movement to unify reading and math instruction across the nation, a move that would affect every public school student in the state and require new teacher training and standardized tests.

The new common standards for math and reading, developed by a state-led coalition with encouragement from President Obama, are part of national efforts to improve public education. Current standards and tests are a patchwork of varying quality.

The reforms mean that Maryland's 844,000 students would study the same topics in the same year as peers in other states that sign on to the standards. The changes come alongside others that will tie student performance to teacher evaluations and toughen graduation requirements in math and science -- all part of Maryland's effort to win as much as $250 million in federal Race to the Top education grants.

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