Tennessee Joins 49 States and Territories in Common Core Standards Initiative

Monday, June 01, 2009 | 10:37 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Education Commissioner Dr. Timothy Webb today 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 National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

By signing a Memorandum of Agreement, Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Webb 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.

"I'm committed to Tennessee's continued leadership in educational improvement with implementation of initiatives like the Common Core Standards Initiative and the Tennessee Diploma Project," said Bredesen. "With our focus on raising academic standards and aligning those standards to real world demands, we are better positioning young people to succeed in both college and career, which will be key to economic achievement in the increasingly competitive global marketplace of tomorrow.”

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.

“The Tennessee Diploma Project was the first step is bringing our children onto the national stage,” Commissioner Webb said. “Now, with Common Core Standards, we have reinforcement from our peers in other states and support beyond our borders to ensure our students success.”

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 Tennessee, the following states and territories have also signed a 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.
For more information, contact Rachel Woods at (615) 253-1960 or Rachel.Woods@state.tn.us
For more information on the Tennessee Diploma Project, visit the Department’s site at http://tn.gov/TDP/.   ###