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Excerpts from National Governors and states proposal on education standards

Wednesday, March 10, 2010; A05

Excerpts from the proposal by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers:

Grade 3 (Reading, craft and structure): Interpret key words and phrases in a text, distinguishing literal from figurative language.

Grade 4: Understand words and phrases in a text that allude to significant characters found in mythology, drawing on a wide reading of classic myths from a variety of cultures and periods.

Grade 5: Identify how metaphors and similes as well as rhymes and other repetitions of sounds supply meaning and rhythm in a specific verse or stanza of a poem.

Grade 6 (Math, the number system): Understand that some quantities have opposite directions, such as elevation above and below sea level or money received and spent. These quantities can be described using positive and negative numbers.

Grade 7: Understand that there are numbers that are not rational numbers, called irrational numbers, for example, pi and the square root of 2. Together, the rational and irrational numbers form the real number system. In school mathematics, the real numbers are assumed to satisfy the laws of arithmetic.

Grade 8: Informally explain why the square root of 2 is irrational.

Grades 9-10 (Text exemplars, stories): Homer, "The Odyssey"; Nikolai Gogol, "The Nose"; O. Henry, "The Gift of the Magi"; John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"; Ray Bradbury, "Fahrenheit 451"; Tillie Olsen, "I Stand Here Ironing"; Michael Shaara, "The Killer Angels"; Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club"; Julia Alvarez, "In the Time of the Butterflies"; Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief."

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