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Common Core Initiative Moves Forward

Leaders of the Common Core Initiative are gearing up for the adoption and implementation of the College and Career Readiness Standards, which they plan to unveil in January. With that ball rolling, they also will then distribute a draft of the K-12 Standards for public review.

Gene Wilhoit, Council of Chief State School Officer executive director, and Dane Linn National Governors Association Center of Best Practices education division director, provided an update of the Common Core Initiative at a public meeting Dec. 2. They focused on the timelines associated with the adoption and implementation of the College and Career Readiness Standards, and the upcoming comment period that will be available for the K-12 standards. Further, they stressed that the standards at which they are developing are the best they can do based on the evidence on hand and encouraged the education community to advocate for more research and development as the project unfolds.

A validation committee is mulling over the more than 1,000 comments provided by the education community. They plan to unveil a revised document by early January. In the meantime, Common Core leaders are talking to about six states — among them Massachusetts, Colorado, and Minnesota — about adoption and implementation of the standards. While they expect a significant number of states to adopt the standards, they are looking for a select group of states to take the helms of implementation – obviously the more difficult and complicated phase of the initiative. Dane said they will be looking for “proof points” to provide models of successful implementation. Also, they will be examining state policies that may help or hinder Common Core implementation.

Representatives from the National Association of School Boards of Education, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association re-affirmed their support for the initiative and described the outreach efforts they have been making to foster buy-in from their membership. For implementation to be successful they acknowledged that support from school boards and unions are critical.

The K-12 Standards will follow a similar review process. The first iteration of the standards will be released in January and subject to comment and validation.

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