|Equity and Excellence Project|
As the Common Core State Standards rollout nationally, it will be necessary for local communities to engage themselves in the hard work of interpreting, communicating and designing strategies to achieve community understanding and pursuit of the standards to ensure that the promise and intended impact of common standards are fully realized.
Background: For the past two and a half decades, the nation has made steady progress at raising academic content and performance standards in K-12 education especially in English, mathematics and science (e.g. National Education Goals, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top). The latest wave of progress involves the states embarking upon the development of Common Core State Standards.
Concomitantly, policy makers, educational and advocacy organizations (e.g. National Urban League (NUL)) have been alarmed about the growing gaps in access to, and achievement of higher standards overall, but especially among low-income urban communities and the schools that they attend.
The current emphasis on common standards across states offers the possibility of additional success and improved outcomes for urban students. While there is growing knowledge about the sources of the problem and the solutions, there is limited consensus about the priorities and strategies in which to invest, and no broad scale community involvement in setting goals, measuring and reporting progress and taking substantive steps towards continuous improvement.
The Project: To address this need, the NUL has launched two state consortia in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, with the intent of building more effective and impactful advocates for, and participants in, local, state and federal/national educational improvement in the following five focus areas:
Through tool development and technical assistance, Affiliates will build their capacity to partner and advocate more effectively at the state and national levels while maintaining their ability to lead and convene locally. We envision a strategy and outcomes that benefit individuals and institutions beyond the NUL affiliate movement.
Dr. Edmund W. Gordon spoke at our Equity and Excellence Project Kickoff. Professor Gordon is the John Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at Yale University, Richard March Hoe Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Professor Gordon’s distinguished career spans professional practice. A scholarly life as a minister, clinical and counseling psychologist, research scientist, author, editor, and professor.