Washington students will have to meet national core standards

Jul 20, 2011

Washington today became the latest state to align its education standards with a national movement. Forty-four states have now committed to what are dubbed  “common core standards” for Language Arts and Math in public schools.

Oregon agreed to the “common core standards” last October.  Idaho signed up in January.

Washington lawmakers had provisionally approved the move last year. State schools’ superintendent Randy Dorn made it official today, after the legislature made no move in the last session to reverse course.

Dorn says the uniform standards should help students who move from state to state.

“Especially in our state – we have so many military bases, we have so many kids coming and going all the time, from all different assessments, different graduation requirements in high school. The more that we can make that transition smoother, and have the same expectations across state lines – and keep them up high – I think it’s a good thing.”

Pooled resources save money

In a time of continued cuts to the state education budget, Dorn said in a press releases that the common core standards will benefit the states financially because they will be able to pool their resources for textbooks and assessments.

“The availability of aligned textbooks and other instructional materials will be significantly increased,” he said. “And, testing costs will be reduced because we’ll have common assessments – not 50 different states designing and administering 50 different tests.”

The common core standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and education experts.

The common core standards will be rolled out to state teachers beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the release said. Washington is one of the lead states working on a related set of tests and assessments.