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The State Board of Education Votes to Adopt the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics for Grades K–12

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Standards Define Knowledge and Skills for K-12 Education

(Washington, DC) – The DC State Board of Education yesterday evening adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12.  CCSS is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, involving the Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia.

“The DC State Board of Education is pleased to approve these standards,” said State Board President Ted Trabue.  "We believe these standards reinforce the high standards already in place and position the District to make sure our children are equipped to be in control of their future.  We want to thank the parents, teachers, and experts who have provided their thoughts and analysis throughout this process.”

Prior to approving the CCSS, the State Board held three public hearings where nearly 30 presenters, including teachers, school leaders, parents, and other education stakeholders, shared their thoughts on the standards.  In addition, prior to recommending the CCSS for State Board adoption, the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) developed a “crosswalk” comparing the CCSS to the current DC content standards, which indicated the CCSS maintained the same high expectations for DC students and conducted eight review panels where teachers and other content experts were invited to provide feedback to OSSE on the standards.  OSSE also made three presentations to the State Board to discuss the CCSS and the benefits of joining the state-led initiative.

"Adopting the Common Core standards is a significant first step.  We look forward to putting these expectations into practice and creating a multi-state effort around standards, assessments, professional development, and curricula that will lead to a better education for DC’s students," said State Superintendent Kerri Briggs.  “By adopting the standards and partnering with 25 other states to develop new assessments, DC will be able to better measure whether our students have the skills and knowledge necessary to be ready for college and the workforce.”

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

  • Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

"The Common Standards are an important step for the District," said Mayor Adrian Fenty.  "They will permit our schools, teachers, parents, and students to take the next step to continue the remarkable improvement we have seen in the past three years by streamlining the expectations and to focus on the core skills they need to succeed."

The District has partnered with 25 other states that applied for federal funding to develop a new assessment system aligned to the CCSS.  The goal of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is to create an assessment system that will help states dramatically increase the number of students who graduate high school ready for college and careers and provide students, parents, teachers and policymakers with the tools they need to help students–from grade three through high school–stay on track and graduate prepared.

Together, the 26 PARCC states educate more than 60 percent of the K-12 students in the United States. DC is one of the 11 Governing States who will be leading the assessment development effort on behalf of the larger Partnership.