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Fordham Institute releases report on implementing Common Core State Standards


Nearly 40 U.S. states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, yet implementation and next steps to make them effective require more discussion. To prompt thought and planning about what lies ahead for common education standards and tests, Fordham Institute President Chester E. Finn Jr. and Vice President Michael J. Petrilli co-authored “Now What? Imperatives & Options for “Common Core” Implementation & Governance.”

Once adopted at the state level, there are several necessary steps before full implementation at the classroom level; this report aims to address that process and look ahead to the future.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a single set of clear educational standards for K–12 English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for college and the workforce.

Following discussions with and feedback from two-dozen education leaders such as Jeb Bush, Rod Paige, David Driscoll and Andy Rotherham, the authors frame three models for implementation of the Common Core State Standards: independence, representation and transparency.

The authors also target the most pressing action items which include identifying the most urgent implementation tasks; determining what needs to be done across state lines; defining the roles of states, districts and private markets; and figuring out who will own and test these standards in the future.