A vocal advocate for teaching basic math in the Palo Alto schools has been appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to a state commission to create academic standards for kindergarten through 12th grades.
Williamson "Bill" Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an Escondido School parent, will serve on the 21-member Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards.
Earlier this year, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin appointed former Palo Alto school board member and Stanford education professor Bob Calfee to the same commission. Eastin will also serve on the commission.
Evers, 47, co-founded the local parent group Honest Open Logical Debate (HOLD), a coalition advocating that mathematics basics, such as computation, continue to be taught at all grade levels.
He received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate in political science from Stanford University. He was managing editor of the Journal of Libertarian Studies and editor-in-chief of Cato Institute's Inquiry Magazine. He is a member of the board of directors of the University South Neighborhood Group.
The state commission was created by legislation last year and has the responsibility of coming up with standards by which statewide tests will be put together and measured. The standards will be used to create new tests for students from kindergarten through 12th grades. The last statewide test, CLAS, (California Learning Assessment System), was abandoned after only two years when districts complained about skewed results.
"They will be laying out a blueprint for the expectations of kids," said Barbara Miller of EdSource, a nonprofit corporation in Menlo Park analyzing education issues.
The governor has appointed 11 members to the commission. The state Senate and Assembly will each appoint one person, and Eastin is responsible for appointing six. The commission is expected to give its recommendations to the state Board of Education by July 1, 1997. The board must by law adopt the standards by Jan. 1, 1998.
School districts will have to wait for new statewide standardized tests for at least two more years while the commission develops its standards.
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