Massachusetts Signs on to Common Core State Standards Initiative- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112 or Jonathan Palumbo 617-979-8348

Massachusetts Signs on to Common Core State Standards Initiative

Joins 48 Other States and Territories in Support of Shared ELA and Math Standards

BOSTON - Governor Deval Patrick and Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester have joined leaders from 48 other states and territories in signing on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led process to develop common English language arts and math standards.

By signing this agreement, Governor Patrick, Education Secretary Paul Reville and Commissioner Chester join their colleagues across the country in committing to participating in a state-led process to develop a common set of academic standards 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.

"I am pleased to have Massachusetts sign on to this important national effort," Commissioner Chester said. "Establishing college and career readiness standards sets a baseline for performance that will enable graduates from every state to be better prepared to compete with their international peers."

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). The effort will build directly on the recent work 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.

"A large measure of our progress and performance in Massachusetts is due to the commitment we made in 1993 that all students should have an education based on a common set of academic expectations through development of our highly lauded standards," said Secretary Reville. "We remain steadfastly committed to the core belief that every student can meet high expectations which is why we are determined to maintain the rigor of our curriculum frameworks while simultaneously improving upon them."

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.

In addition to Massachusetts, the other participating states and territories that have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) are: Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; 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.

Last Updated: June 2, 2009

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