Today, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released a set of state-led education standards, the Common Core State Standards, at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, GA. The English-language arts and mathematics standards for grades K-12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators and parents. The standards establish clear and consistent goals for learning that will prepare America’s children for success in college and work.
The release of the standards marks the conclusion of the development of the Common Core State Standards and signals the start of the adoption and implementation process by the states. The year-long process was led by governors and chief state school officers in 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia. The final standards were informed by nearly 10,000 public comments and by standards in other top performing countries so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy.
“American competitiveness relies on an education system that can adequately prepare our youth for college and the workforce,” commented Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. “When American students have the skills and knowledge needed in today’s jobs, our communities will be positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”
“Strong schools are the surest path to our nation’s long-term economic success. America’s students are now competing with children around the globe for jobs and opportunities after graduation. We need to maintain a national focus to ensure our kids are ready to compete and ready to win. That’s why our nation’s governors committed to this effort to create a common set of high expectations for students across the country. The Common Core State Standards reflect what can come from cooperation to improve student achievement,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who joined via satellite from Delaware.
“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents have a roadmap for what they need to do to help them. Further, these standards provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live, and allow states to more effectively help all students to succeed,” commented Steve Paine, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools. “I am excited to have a common framework from which to share best practices with fellow superintendents across the nation. With students, parents, and teachers all on the same page and working together for shared goals, we can ensure that students make progress each year and graduate from school prepared to succeed and build a strong future for themselves and the country.”
“Our best understanding of what works in our schools comes from the teachers who teach in our classrooms every day. That is why these standards establish what students need to learn, but do not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, the standards enable schools and teachers to decide how best to help students reach the standards,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith. “We are entering the most critical phase of the movement for Common Core State Standards. It is now up to states to adopt the standards and carry on the hard work of the educators and community leaders that worked to develop them.”
These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers. The standards are:
· Aligned with college and work expectations;
· Clear, understandable and consistent;
· Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
· Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
· Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
· Evidence- and research-based.
In the coming months, each state will follow its own procedures and processes for adoption of the Common Core State Standards. These standards deserve careful consideration, and the controversy over their specifications and impact has just begun.