Common Core Background
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative was a joint effort by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) www.nga.org and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) www.ccsso.org in partnership with Achieve, ACT, and the College Board. Through this initiative, Governors and state commissioners of education from across the country committed to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for grades K-12. One of the main goals was to develop a “common core of standards that are internationally benchmarked, aligned with work and post-secondary education expectations, and inclusive of the higher order skills that students need…” In April 2009, Governor David Paterson and former Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) along with fifty other states and territories to participate in the national dialogue to develop these voluntary standards. In September 2009, the first draft of the College and Career Readiness Standards were released for public feedback. Revisions were incorporated, and a second round of public feedback was taken in March of 2010. Final Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects were unveiled June 2, 2010. States began adopting them immediately, many as part of their commitment to the federal Race to the Top reform efforts. The adoption process required states to adopt the CCSS word-for-word, but allowed for the addition of up to 15% more standards in each subject area to accommodate individual state concerns and preferences.