The new American national academic standards for English and math, developed by the nation's governors and state school superintendents (except for Texas and Alaska, big surprise), has been released for public review. The New York Times summarizes the standards:
"...written by English and math experts convened last year by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They are laid out in two documents: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. With three appendices, the English standards run to nearly 600 pages."
I have not yet read the full text of the standards, only the executive summary. In English, the focus is on the skills to be developed at particular grades levels, not on dictating rigid reading lists, with the following high school exceptions: Six English texts are required reading. High school juniors and seniors must study the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, and one Shakespearean play.
Let's hope that the state departments of education move quickly to adopt a common-sense solution to the current hodgepodge of academic curriculum standards.