For immediate release
Oct. 14, 2010
Kathy Toelkes, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
Kansas joins 37 other states in adopting
Common Core Standards
TOPEKA – The Kansas State Board of Education this week adopted Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics that are internationally benchmarked and aligned with college and career readiness expectations. Kansas joins 37 other states that have already adopted the Common Core Standards. The vote clears the way for staff at the Kansas State Department of Education to begin drafting a plan to transition from the state’s current standards to the new Kansas Common Core Standards.
The Common Core Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards for proficiency in English language arts and mathematics were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and education experts. They are evidence-based and include both content and application of knowledge through higher-order skills.
“I’m pleased that the Board has voted to adopt the Common Core Standards. I believe it brings a number of advantages to our state, not the least of which is ensuring rigorous and internationally benchmarked standards for Kansas students,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. “Adopting standards in alignment with other states also allows us to pool resources with those states in the development of assessments and to capitalize on the successful programs and strategies being used in other states.”
Like the state’s existing curricular standards, the Common Core Standards provide an expectation for what students should know and be able to do at different grade levels. Decisions regarding curriculum and how students attain the standards are made by local school districts.
Kansas educators had an opportunity during the development of the Common Core Standards to review drafts and offer input. In addition, each state is able to add additional content, up to 15 percent of total standards, specific to its state and areas of emphasis or focus for the state.
“The input provided by Kansas educators is clearly present in the final version of the Common Core Standards,” said Dr. Tom Foster, director of Career, Standards and Assessment Services for the Kansas State Department of Education. “While the Common Core Standards build on the strengths of our current standards, given the variety of input provided during development, the Common Core Standards are more focused, more clear and more rigorous than our current standards.”
Department of Education staff members intend to visit with teachers and educators around the state to receive input regarding the implementation of the new standards. A plan and a date for implementation will be determined once that has been completed.