Iowa has joined the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led process to develop common English-language arts and mathematics standards. 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).
In addition to Iowa, the following states and territories have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; 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.
By signing this MOA, Governor Chet Culver and Iowa Department of Education Director Judy Jeffrey join their colleagues across the country in committing to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics 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.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative will build directly on recent efforts 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. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core as long as the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state's standards in English language arts and mathematics. The second phase of this initiative is to ultimately develop common assessments aligned to the core standards developed through the process.
"Iowa is fortunate to have not only state core content standards, but also the Iowa Core Curriculum, which provides rigorous expectations for all students and gives teachers the tools to change teaching and learning in this state," Jeffrey said. "With our recently passed Iowa Core Curriculum, Iowa can easily incorporate national standards because the Core Curriculum provides more explicit guidance to reach high expectations."
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 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 standards work is expected to be completed in December 2009.