It looks as though the movement to adopt the Common Core Standards is gaining momentum. These standards, drawn up by state school chiefs and released this spring, will provide a set of Math and Language Arts objectives that will bring consistency to what our children are taught across the country. Pushing for these national standards will also discourage states from “weakening” their standards to avoid being penalized by the federal No Child Left Behind law.

As reported in The New York Times twenty-seven states have already adopted the standards, and another dozen should sign on this summer. This quick acceptance and adoption of the standards by so many states is due in part to the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” competition, an initiative designed to improve instruction in our nation’s schools. The states that adopt the new standards by August 2 will earn points for a share of the $3.2 billion in education funds to be awarded to states this fall.

While the “Race to Adopt” (as some have called the move to accept the standards) has been swift, some supporters have cautioned that during these tough economic times, not all states will have the money to pay for the full implementation and training required, possibly resulting in less-than-satisfactory achievement based on the new standards.

What does this mean for our colleagues in the educational publishing world? Most likely many are evaluating their major programs against the new standards to see how much revision will be needed for complete alignment. Others may be anticipating that developing a basal program to align with one set of standards will be more economical, instead of having to customize programs to meet a wide variety of states’ objectives. But unless California, Texas, and Florida get on board, the industry may still see the need for separate editions.

Need help with program alignment? PSG has a lot of experience with the current states’ standards, and we’ve been doing our homework preparing for work with the new Common Core Standards. Contact us if you’re considering any work with aligning your current program or developing a new program to align with these new standards.