State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn formally adopted the Common Core Standards for English and math for Washington state on Wednesday, July 20.
Washington is now the 44th state to adopt the standards, meaning almost every state in the country will soon have the same learning standards in those two subjects. In the past, it’s been up to each state to decide what students should learn and when, meaning that what a Washington student learns in 4th grade math may not be the same as what a Texas student learns in 4th grade.
The Common Core Standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Two groups of states are also working to develop national standardized tests based on the common core standards. Washington is the lead of the 29-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. Washington plans to have the first test based on the common core standards in the 2014-15 school year.
Dorn provisionally adopted the standards for Washington in 2010.
Washington is also the lead fiscal state for the 29-state S, one of two multi-state consortia’s developing assessments based on the common core standards. Those new exams will first assess the common core standards in the 2014-15 school year.
The Washington State PTA sent out a press release in favor of common core standards, shortly after Dorn announced his plans to adopt them.
The press releases from OSPI and WSPTA are below:
State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced today that he is formally adopting the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics.
Washington became the 44th state, in addition to one territory and the District of Columbia, to adopt the common core standards. Washington will officially begin the process to introduce the standards into state classrooms by the 2013-14 school year – a timeline and resources can be viewed at www.k12.wa.us/corestandards. The goal of the standards is to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for college and the workforce.
“I believe the common core standards are the first step in helping our nation move forward with true education reform,” Dorn said. “The standards are clear and will benefit our students. They’ll be better prepared for post-high school, no matter the path they choose.
“In addition, having similar learning standards throughout most states will certainly help students who move to Washington. We live in a mobile society, and with our state’s large number of military families, the transition to a new state and new school will be made a little easier as they’ll be able to essentially pick up where they left off in their previous home.”
Dorn, as directed by Section 601 of the Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6696, provisionally adopted the common core standards in July 2010. The formal adoption and implementation of the new standards could not occur until after the 2011 state Legislature had an opportunity to review a report by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and take action if necessary.
In June, OSPI convened a bias and sensitivity committee to review the standards and provide implementation recommendations around instruction and instructional supports to ensure the success of traditionally underserved groups in our state. The committee supported formal adoption of the common core standards.
Washington is also the lead fiscal state for the 29-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two multi-state consortia’s developing assessments based on the common core standards. Those new exams will first assess the common core standards in the 2014-15 school year.
In a time of continued cuts to the state education budget, Dorn said the common core standards, along with the multi-state assessments, will have a positive financial benefit as states will be able to pool their resources for textbooks and assessments.
“The availability of aligned textbooks and other instructional materials will be significantly increased,” he said. “And, testing costs will be reduced because we’ll have common assessments – not 50 different states designing and administering 50 different tests.”
The common core standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and education experts.
The common core standards will be rolled out to state teachers beginning in the 2012-13 school year. During the 2011-12 school year, OSPI and statewide educational partners, including the nine Educational Service Districts, will begin key transitional activities that will include forming advisory groups and developing regional support structures and materials.
Students will continue to be tested on Washington’s 2005 reading and writing standards, and on the 2008 mathematics standards through the 2013-14 school year. Testing on Washington’s common core state standards for English language arts and math will occur in the 2014-15. Washington’s learning standards in other subject areas remain intact and can be located at http://k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/EALR_GLE.aspx.
Visit OSPI’s common core standards Website (www.k12.wa.us/corestandards) for timelines and resource materials and continue to visit that site for updates.
Washington State PTA applauds adoption of Common Core State Standards
· Parents’ guide available online, http://www.pta.org/4446.htm
Today Washington joins 42 states in adopting the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The Washington State PTA applauds Superintendent Randy Dorn’s decision and the years of hard work that preceded it by teachers, parents, education experts, and others from across the country.
“The common standards will make it a lot easier for families to negotiate schools,” says Novella Fraser, president of the 140,000-plus member association. The standards provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade.
The goal is to get all children, no matter where they live, working at consistently high standards, and to link those standards to real skills that kids need to transition into adulthood.
“If families can be guided by clear, consistent standards — across the state and nation – then they can focus on the specific learning needs of their children,” says Fraser.
To support families in the move to Common Core State Standards, National PTA has created the Parents Guide for Student Success, http://www.pta.org/4446.htm, a collection of grade-appropriate activities and learning methods, as well as tips to plan for college and career.
The Common Core State Standards have won praise from independent reviewers. And while Washington earns high marks for its current mathematic standards, it rates a C in English language arts from the Fordham Institute. Fordham judged our language arts standards “clearly inferior” in clarity and rigor to the Common Core State Standards.
“We want all kids to reach their potential – and a big part of that is developing skills in critical thinking and analysis,” says Fraser.