According to the NGA website, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) banded together to develop the National Common Core standards, working in partnership with ACT, Achieve, and the College Board – who are these groups?
The governors of 55 states, territories and commonwealths comprise the National Governors Association, who work with public policy issues at both state and national levels.
The Council of Chief of State School Officers are a group of individuals who are state school officers and their stated purpose is to “seek member consensus on major educational issues” and to share that consensus with everyone including the public, civic and professional organizations, federal agencies and Congress.
It is interesting to note that these groups: the NGA and the CCSSO, along with the Education Commissioners (who are state level employees who bridge the gap between the governor of the state and the individual school boards) are listed as responsible for the development of the standards. Absent from this list are the names of the actual organizations represented by those individuals who were on the committees writing the standards.
Common Core Organizations Represented
The common core standards committees included representatives from a number of organizations.
- Let’s start with the Student Achievement Partners. This group had an individual on both the math and language arts work group committees as well as the math and language arts feedback committees. According to their website, “Student Achievement Partners helped ensure that the Standards were based on the best available evidence of what students need to know and be able to do in order to be ready for the demands of college and career.” SAP continues to support the Common Core initiative by providing materials, tools and various resources for teachers free of charge. They accept no money from publishers, but are privately funded by organizations such as the Gates Foundation.
- Next up, ACT: a non-profit company most commonly known for the ACT college admissions and placement test. They also provide testing and other services for schools, businesses and the government.
- Achieve is an organization started by a group of governors and corporate leaders with the goal of supporting standards-based education reform. They have also released a number of documents and tools, free of charge, to help schools as they shift their old standards to the new National standards.
- The College Board helps to ensure college readiness among students through a number of college readiness programs including Advance Placement (AP) and CLEP. The college board also helps students connect with college successfully through programs including the SAT and various scholarships.
- In addition to these groups, there was one individual each on the math and language arts work group committees from a group called America’s Choice. Pearson acquired this group a couple of months after the standards were published. Pearson is a giant in the education industry, providing schools with curriculum and testing materials. Pearson could have benefited greatly from having someone on the inside of a process that was going to ultimately change every curriculum and test in every school across the Nation upon the adoption of the new standards.
Common Core Standards in Schools
Parents and teachers are divided on the benefits vs. burdens of the common core standards. If you are still undecided about these new standards, learning more about who wrote the common core standards, and how they affect schools should be helpful.
National Governors Association. Common Core State Standards Development Work Group and Feedback Group Announced. (2009). Accessed on September 1, 2013.
National Governors Association. Common Core State Standards Initiative Validation Committee Announced. (2009). Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Pearson. Pearson and America’s Choice Announce Acquisition Agreement. (2010). Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Achieve the Core. About Student Achievement Partners. Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Achieve, Inc. Achieving the Common Core. (2013). Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Truth in American Education. States Fighting Back Map Update. (2013). Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Milgram, James. James Milgram on the new Common Core standards in Math. Parents Across America. Accessed on September 1, 2013.
Common Core State Standards Initiative. Implementing the State Common Core Standards. (2012). Accessed on September 1, 2013.© Copyright 2013 Jennifer Wagaman, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Parenting