Last week the Utah State Board of Education unanimously adopted what is called “Common Core State Standards,” which is a set of benchmarks to assess the knowledge and skills of students from kindergarten through 12th grade. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, State School Superintendent Larry Shumway said these are not federal standards or national standards but rather voluntary standards developed by the states which provide ways for states to work together to do great things for public schools. “We’ll be able to save some of our precious dollars that we’re using now for assessment and use those for more direct instructional purposes,” Shumway said. “They are higher standards because they’ll be coordinated with our institutions of higher education, such as colleges and universities, so when a student meets these standards students can be assured of being ready for university studies and university work.” Shumway says there are some areas where Utah will probably want to have its own standards, such as health, including sex education.
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