Karla Denny, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
Kansas Joins Forty-Nine States and Territories in Common Core State Standards Initiative
Communications Team, KSDE
TOPEKA – June 3, 2009 – Governor Mark Parkinson and State Commissioner of Education Alexa Posny have joined the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led process to develop common English-language arts and mathematics standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative will be jointly led by the NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
“Kansas has some of the best schools, best teachers and brightest students in America,” stated Governor Mark Parkinson. “To maintain this level of excellence in our education system, we need to ensure that what we teach in Kansas will help our students to compete in the global economy. The CORE initiative can play an important role in this effort, preparing students today, for the opportunities of tomorrow.”
In addition to Kansas, the following states and territories have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Virgin Islands; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming.
In the twenty-six years since the release of A Nation at Risk, states have made great strides in increasing the academic rigor of education standards. Yet, America’s children still remain behind other nations in terms of academic achievement and preparedness to succeed.
“The time is right for all of us to agree on what all high school graduates should know and be able to do to be successful and prepared for their next steps,” said State Commissioner of Education Alexa Posny. “The broad level of commitment from states across the nation is unprecedented, and Kansas is pleased to be part of ensuring our students are competitive in the 21st century.”
By signing this MOA, Governor Parkinson and Commissioner Posny join their colleagues across the country in committing to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards will be research- and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative will build directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college- and career-ready standards and ensure that these standards can be internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries around the world. The goal is to have a common core of state standards that states can voluntarily adopt. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core as long as the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and mathematics. The second phase of this initiative is to ultimately develop common assessments aligned to the core standards developed through the process.
The NGA Center and CCSSO will coordinate the process to develop these standards and will create an expert validation committee to provide an independent review of the common core state standards, as well as the grade-by-grade standards. This committee will be composed of nationally and internationally recognized and trusted education experts who are neutral to – and independent of – the process. The college and career ready standards are expected to be completed in July 2009. The grade-by-grade standards work is expected to be completed in December 2009.
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