(May 15) Controversy surrounds Pennsylvania Common Core Standards

A controversy is brewing in Pennsylvania over a new set of academic standards that will undergird all instruction in public school classrooms, starting this fall.

Called the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards, this initiative provides a framework for what students should be taught at each grade-level in English and mathematics.

School districts’ curriculum must be aligned with the state’s version of the Common Core standards starting next school year.

Along with this new set of standards, the State Board of Education has approved using passage of the end-of-course Algebra I, biology and literature Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement, starting with the Class of 2017 – this year’s eighth-graders.

A hearing on the revised standards and high-stakes graduating testing requirement is set for Wednesday before the Senate Education Committee. 

Senate Democrats are planning a news conference for today to voice outrage over this initiative’s implementation without legislative approval.

Meanwhile, advocates for this change are ramping up their rhetoric in support of Common Core with news releases and news conferences. And the state Department of Education issued a “fact sheet” about Common Core to clear up what it sees as myths being spread.

Find the full article, here: Controversy surrounds Pennsylvania Common Core Standards  Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News, 5/13/13

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