Common Opportunity Resource Standards

Dec 2009

In far too many states, students are  denied access to the resources that provide a meaningful opportunity to learn.  There is no substitute for opportunity, not in our schools, our workplaces, or our society.  Opportunity is at the heart of our American dream.  Yet many students who need a high-quality preschool go without. Many children are taught by ineffective teachers lacking in baseline qualifications and experience. Too many attend under-performing schools that lack the resources necessary to effectively raise achievement. And too few receive a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, the foundation for success in college, life, and work. This unacceptable status quo tears at the fabric of our democratic society. The United States must act now to ensure that all America’s children have an equitable educational opportunity.

The Opportunity to Learn Campaign's proposal for a federal resource standards and accountability system is built on the fact that certain educational resources can predict marked improvement in academic achievement and success in life, especially for historically disadvantaged children.  If these vital resources are deficient, there needs to be resource accountability in time to prevent academic failure. By monitoring the access to key educational resources, the federal government can help ensure that all students have an opportunity to meet high standards. A three-part federal system of Common Opportunity Resource Standards (CORS) and incentives to meet them can help distribute these resources more equitably within and between states. The recommended system would supplement, and never supplant, state education funding and accountability under existing state and federal laws. Further, the added level of educational resource monitoring in each part would likely improve the efficiency of educational resource distribution by states and districts, yielding greater returns on these critical investments. Download the proposal to learn more.

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