WASHINGTON—Successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is critical to ensuring the nation’s students have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and the workforce. The National Governors Association (NGA) today released a report, Realizing the Potential: How Governors Can Lead Effective Implementation of the Common Core State Standards, to provide governors and other state policymakers with guidance to transition their school systems to the standards.
In recent years, governors, chief state school officers, business leaders and college faculty have grown increasingly concerned that American students are not adequately prepared either for college or for the workforce. To address that concern, NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) embarked on an historic, state-led effort to create a common core of academic standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades kindergarten through 12 (K-12). The standards are: based on research and evidence, informed by top performing countries and states and aligned with college and workforce expectations.
Governors and chief state school officers supported the initiative because they understood that the changing economy and persistent achievement gaps required a dramatic shift in academic expectations. Further, they realized states were no longer well-served by a system in which each state had its own standards for what students should know and be able to do.
“The development and widespread adoption by states of the CCSS is an historic milestone in American education,” said Dane Linn, director of the NGA Center for Best Practice’s Education Division. “Implementing the CCSS in schools and K-12 classrooms has the potential to transform education in the United States by narrowing achievement gaps and ensuring that every student graduates high school ready for college and work.”
Governors’ authority over education and the tools with which they can take action vary considerably from state to state, yet all governors should consider taking the following actions to support implementing the CCSS:
- Communicate a vision for reform;
- Identify performance goals and measure progress;
- Engage key leaders from education, business and philanthropy;
- Build educator capacity;
- Lead transitions in state assessments and accountability policy;
- Support local development and acquisition of new curricula and materials; and
- Maximize resources and share costs.
In addition to supporting effective implementation of the CCSS, NGA, CCSSO and National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) are committed to developing a long-term governance structure with leadership from governors, chief state school officers and other state policymakers.
For more information, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/edu.