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W.Va. Joins National Initiative to Develop New Standards

June 04, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is one of 49 states and U.S. territories to join an initiative to develop common English/language arts and math standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

"West Virginia has taken bold steps to increase rigor and incorporate 21st century skills into the curriculum,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine, who is a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors.

“Participating in this national initiative will reinforce that we are doing the right thing for students in West Virginia by helping them excel both in their core classes and in real-world settings so that they will be globally intelligent and resilient in today’s digital world."

By signing on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, state school superintendents and governors have committed to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English/language arts and math for grades K-12. The standards will be research- and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills. Once developed, states can voluntarily adopt the standards. States also can add additional standards.

The outline of the initiative is similar to ones that West Virginia used in developing its 21st century learning program, “Global21: Students deserve It. The World demands It.”

The program is a systemic approach to help West Virginia not only compete globally but to thrive. From the classroom to the district office to the state Department of Education, the program is a bold acknowledgement that educators must change how they teach if student learning is to improve. At its core is the mission to develop self-directed, motivated learners who demonstrate the skills and knowledge that are fundamental to becoming successful adults in a global economy.  The initiative will have similar goals.

“Only when we agree about what all high school graduates need to be successful will we be able to tackle the most significant challenge ahead of us: transforming instruction for every child,” said CCSSO President-Elect and Maine Education Commissioner Sue Gendron. “Common standards will provide educators clarity and direction about what all children need to succeed in college and the workplace.”

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.  

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