From the Baltimore Sun::
Md., 45 other states to develop national education standards
Pact calls for common curriculum, testing from kindergarten to high school
Maryland and 45 other states announced Monday that they will develop common national standards for what should be taught in classrooms from kindergarten through high school in reading and math.
The agreement marks a major shift away from local control over curriculum, which allowed every school district to decide what was taught, to national standards and national tests. State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said both she and Gov. Martin O'Malley have signed the initiative, announced Monday by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Eventually, the state will replace its Maryland School Assessments with a national test that is developed by the states collectively, Grasmick said; however, the High School Assessments would likely stay in place for the time being.
The historic shift comes as reports have shown that American students have educational deficits compared to their counterparts in other nations where national standards and national tests have been in place for years.