Several organizations that have led the Common Core State Standards Initiative announced that six states have joined a “collaborative” designed to help them implement the standards.
Arizona, California, New Hampshire, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming will join the “Improving Student Learning at Scale Collaborative,” according to an announcement today from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the two groups that oversaw the development of common core. The National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Higher Education Executive Officers group also joined in making the announcement—all four groups will provide a grant to the states as part of the project, and their staff will provide technical assistance as well.
The move is designed to help states share information as they implement the standards, and help align various resources and policies within state government to make common-core implementation easier. In addition, the grant and support staff are supposed to help states make better connections between common core in K-12 and higher education.
The release does state that many policy decisions about how best to implement the standards “have yet to be made or are being put in place in an uncoordinated way,” a description of the common-core policy landscape that might not delight its supporters.
Since many key common-core policy decisions by states will revolve around testing, it should be noted that all six of the states belong to one of the two state consortia working on tests for the common standards. One, Arizona, is a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careeers, or PARCC. The rest belong to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
None of the states that are part of this project seem like places where common-core opposition has gathered the kind of momentum it has (to varying degrees) in Georgia, Indiana, and Michigan. However, it is worth noting that Arzona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, recently ordered state officials to stop referring to the new standards as “common core,” and instead call them the “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,” as you can read below:
But the Arizona Daily Star does point out that the effort seems a bit belated, since Brewer herself referred to them as “common core” in her 2013 State of the State speech, which I’ve embedded below. (Brewer’s name-change strategy led to derision among common-core opponents.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.