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Statement From Bob Wise, President Of The Alliance For Excellent Education, On The Draft K–12 Standards

Press Release:

Statement From Bob Wise, President Of The Alliance For Excellent Education, On The Draft K–12 Standards

Gov Wise: “Zip codes are no way to educate America’s future workforce.”
Washington, DC – This morning, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers released the first official public draft of the K–12 standards as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a process led by governors and chief state school officers from fifty-one states, territories, and the District of Columbia. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia made the following statement.

“Zip codes might be great for sorting mail, but they’re no way to educate America’s future workforce.

“Under the current education system, there is wide variation between states and even school districts on what students are expected to know and do—a situation that is unfair to all students, and one that is especially harmful to low-income students and students of color.

“Thankfully, today’s release of the draft K–12 standards is further evidence that states working together have chosen to move away from the old inequitable system and toward a new one with higher expectations for all students. With expectations that are the same no matter where students live, all students—from Altoona to Albuquerque—can be confident that they will have the skills necessary to succeed after high school and compete with their international peers.

“These standards represent an unprecedented from-the-bottom-up effort by states to define the knowledge and skills necessary for students to be prepared for college and careers. They build upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards and are informed by the top-performing countries, solid evidence, and research.

“Moving forward, it is equally important that the right mix of resources is in place to ensure that teachers and students have the support needed to meet these standards. Over time, assessments and instructional materials aligned to the new standards will need to be developed to yield real and meaningful improvement in the student outcomes. Critical attention must be paid, in particular, to ensuring that students who have not historically been served well in our education system receive help to meet these standards.

“Additionally, the accountability framework in the No Child Left Behind Act needs to be updated to recognize the state-led movement toward higher, common standards and improved assessments while maintaining accountability for results. For that reason, it is imperative that the groundbreaking work around common standards is accompanied by a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to guarantee its long-term impact.”

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, working in partnership with Achieve, Inc., have received initial feedback on the standards from states as well as national organizations representing teachers, postsecondary education, businesses, civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities, among others.

Interested organizations and individuals who wish to provide additional feedback on the draft standards are encouraged to do so at prior to April 2, 2010.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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