Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and New York have joined more than two dozen states that have endorsed national academic standards for math and English instruction in schools. The standards are being promoted as a way to ensure a similar education for all students and prevent states from expending valuable resources developing and implementing their own guidelines. Support was weak for previous efforts to standardize what is taught in U.S. schools, but the current push is being buoyed by the Obama administration's federal Race to the Top grant competition, which considers states' adoption of the standards among its criteria.

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