State education leaders say South Carolina public school students will receive a better education if state officials adopt a proposal for new math and reading standards for each grade level.
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex says the initiative has been underway for about two years. He says South Carolina will likely be one of the first 10 or 15 states to implement the new standards. The standards were developed by educators in the states, not by the U.S. Department of Education. Rex says the move will make South Carolina students more competitive, even with other students around the world and make the states more uniform.
Rex also says adopting the standards will help the state’s participation in the national “Race to the Top” competition, where South Carolina schools stand to gain $175 million in award funding over a period of four years. Rex says South Carolina was not among the two states selected in the first round of Race to the Top competition but has been ranked in sixth place so its chances in the second round are much better.
Deputy Superintendent Valerie Harrison says in many cases the new standards will be more rigorous than existing standards and will better prepare students for college and their careers.