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State Superintendent of Schools Testifies in Washington

April 29, 2010

Washington, DC Dr. Steven L. Paine, State Superintendent of Schools, West Virginia Department of Education, testified today on behalf of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Dr. Steve Paine on Capital Hill

“The current accountability system established under the No Child Left Behind act will undercut movement to high standards and must be updated to reflect the evolution of standards based reform,” said Paine.

Paine’s testimony focused on the extraordinary leadership of states in raising the bar to develop college and career ready standards for all students. Paine noted that the effort to develop common core standards was done with CCSSO in collaboration with the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices through a transparent process with constructive feedback from individual school teachers and leaders, national education organizations, higher education representatives, and civil rights groups. Paine emphasized that while the Common Core State Standards Initiative has been and should remain a state led process, the federal government can take appropriate steps to support state leadership through a reauthorized ESEA.

Paine also noted that states are coming together to develop common high quality assessments aligned to the common core. This new generation of assessment systems will measure student knowledge and skills against the full range of college and career ready standards and will significantly improve teaching and learning by providing unprecedented insights into student growth.

CCSSO believes that the federal government should recognize and reward the bold state leadership demonstrated through state efforts to raise the academic bar by codifying a new state-federal partnership that promotes innovation within ESEA. Furthermore, a new ESEA should expand the federal governments’ commitment to developing state assessments by funding the creation of enhanced assessment systems aligned to college and career ready standards.

“State chiefs across the country hope that the federal government will provide states with a greater authority to innovate and new incentives to help states implement college and career ready standards, improve teacher and leader effectiveness, strengthen longitudinal data systems, and turn around low performing schools,” said Paine.

To view Paine’s testimony click here.

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