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News Brief

Thursday, December 16, 2010

State K-12 Education Officials and Higher Ed Leaders Announce Partnership to Implement Common Core State Standards

Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

AASCU Contact: Susan Chilcott 202-478-4661/chilcotts@aascu.org
SHEEO Contact: Charles Lenth 303-541-1601/clenth@sheeo.org

Washington, DC - December 16, 2010- The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) announced today that they have formed a partnership to promote broad implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics. The groups recognize collaboration is essential to effective implementation of the CCSS.

The Common Core State Standards were developed by CCSSO and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and have been formally adopted by over 40 states and territories. These new K-12 academic standards in English language arts and mathematics are designed to help students be college- and career-ready by the end of the 12th grade.

The AASCU/CCSSO/SHEEO partnership will focus on four major areas of work: facilitating meaningful dialogue on implementing CCSS among state and local education leaders; identifying strategies to improve college readiness; working with in-service high school teachers to identify and address existing problem areas in preparing high school graduates to be ready for college-level work; and incorporating the new common core standards across teacher preparation programs.

"Ensuring students have a seamless transition from high school to college will require close collaboration between chief state school officers and higher education leaders," said Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. "The overriding objective of this partnership is to develop deeper, more authentic partnerships between K-12 schools and the colleges and universities who enroll their graduates and prepare teachers and school leaders."

Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said that "without extensive and deep postsecondary involvement, wide implementation of more uniform and transparent P-12 standards is less likely, and we all need to insure that high school graduates are prepared to excel in meeting broadly held expectations for college and workforce readiness. AASCU institutions are deeply connected to their communities and we have great opportunities to engage with local education leaders. We are steadfast in our goal of making the implementation of Common Core State Standards flourish; our success in preparing students for global competition depends on it."

Paul Lingenfelter, president of SHEEO, observed, "This is an important partnership because state policy and the success of schools and colleges and universities are so interconnected. State higher education executives and chief state school officers must work together to improve policies affecting teacher preparation and in-service education, especially given the opportunities presented by clearer standards and the promise of better assessments. This initiative provides fresh opportunities for faculty and teacher leaders in schools to learn from each other and collaborate to improve student success."

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American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is the leadership association of 420 public colleges and universities Delivering America's Promise through their common commitments to access, affordability and educational opportunity. Enrolling more than 3.8 million students, these institutions fulfill the expectations of a public university by working for the public good through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby improving the lives of people in their community, their region and their state.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

The State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) is a nonprofit, nationwide association of statewide coordinating and governing boards for postsecondary education that assists its members and states in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education. SHEEO provides professional development opportunities for its members; serves as a liaison between the states and the federal government; provides research and leadership on higher education policy issues; and collaborates on projects to improve the effectiveness of higher education in the United States.