The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently released the Common Core State Standards, which will determine what American students should learn in English and math each year from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The standards, developed by a group of education experts with the involvement of 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, are designed to ensure that students will graduate high school “fully prepared for college and careers.” They are widely viewed as higher, clearer, and better focused on the skills students will need to compete in the global economy of the 21st century than the current patchwork of inconsistent state standards.
States and territories, should they choose to, will now begin their individual process of adopting and implementing the standards, which civil rights groups say will be critical to success. The common core standards are intended to be adopted in their entirety and to account for all or at least 85 percent of each state’s overall education standards.
“Creating common standards is an important step, but it’s only the first step. The success of this effort will be determined by how well the states implement the standards so they reach every child – regardless of where they live, how much money their parents make, or what race or ethnicity they may be – and by ensuring that assessments are aligned to the standards and that all schools and teachers have the resources and training needed to use them,” said Leadership Conference Senior Counsel David Goldberg, a founding partner in the Campaign for High School Equity, a coalition of 10 national civil rights and education organizations, that supports common standards.