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New Ed. Standards Stress Public Speaking, Probability

Massachusetts school districts have two years to align their curricula with new national standards adopted Wednesday on an 8-0 vote by the state Board of Primary and Secondary Education.

The new standards for English demand more writing and public speaking of students in the hopes they learn to craft a persuasive argument.

Elise Frangos, director of English for the education agency Mass Insight, says the national guidelines — called the Common Core — better prepare kids for college and a career.

"They'll be keenly aware," Frangos said, "and they'll learn how to craft counter-arguments successfully."

The new math guidelines demand more conceptual thinking and add probability and statistics to the skills students need to master.

Critics say that's a slower approach that does not completely prepare students for algebra.

This program aired on July 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Bianca Vázquez Toness Twitter Reporter
Bianca Vázquez Toness was formerly a report for WBUR.

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