BILL GATES DONATES TO THE PTA:

 

Originally published December 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Page modified December 2, 2009 at 12:44 AM

National PTA gets $1 million from Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving the National PTA $1 million to teach parents about education reform.

The Associated Press

SEATTLE ó

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving the National PTA $1 million to teach parents about education reform.

The three-year outreach program would focus first on an effort to create national learning objectives. Right now, most states have their own set of education standards. But the states are working together to create a new list of learning objectives they can all agree on. The National PTA is supporting this initiative because it wants children in every state to graduate from high school ready for college or work. The common education standards for kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to be completed in early 2010.

The PTA said Tuesday that its three-year outreach effort will begin in January in four states: Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and North Carolina.

The goal is to devise a more coherent and consistent set of academic expectations for students around the country, in contrast to the hodge-podge of standards set by states today. Draft standards for college and career readiness in mathematics and English/language arts were released this fall, and a first version of K-12 guidelines is expected in the next month or two, the NGA said this week.

Yet many questions, and potential obstacles, remain. Itís still unclear whether state officials will agree to adopt the final standards document, particularly given statesí heavy political and financial investments in their own standards and assessment systems.

The National PTAís campaign will attempt to win over policymakers, and the public, on a number of fronts...