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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: JUNE 1, 2009


Gov. Bev Perdue, State Board of Education Chairman and CEO Bill Harrison and State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson today announced that North Carolina has joined 48 other states in a national effort to develop a common core of state education standards. Gov. Perdue, Dr. Harrison and Dr. Atkinson have signed and submitted a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that enables the state to formally join the initiative. The National Governors Association and the Council for Chief State School Officers have partnered to facilitate this state-led effort.

"Joining in this work is yet another way to bolster the North Carolina public school system, to ensure students graduate high school prepared for college and a career in the global, knowledge-based economy," Gov. Perdue said.

In April, Superintendent Atkinson joined representatives from 41 states to discuss the initiative at a meeting sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council for Chief State School Officers. After hearing more about the project, she said she knew North Carolina could not miss the opportunity to be a part of this effort.

"With the development of national standards, our state will save money and be able to focus more resources and dollars on teacher development rather than test development," Atkinson said. "The time is right for us to work together to raise the bar for all students and I am honored to take the lead in making sure North Carolina participates in every step of this process."

The new common core state standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12 will be aligned with college and work expectations and will include rigorous content and skills. Standards will be internationally-benchmarked and based on research and best practices. The set of college and career ready standards should be completed by July while grade-by-grade standards work should be finished in December.

This is not the first time North Carolina has participated in a national effort geared toward creating new educational standards. The state is one of 35 to join the American Diploma Project (ADP), which works to align standards with college and career expectations. As part of its involvement with this group, North Carolina has administered the ADP Algebra II End-of-Course exam this year in a random sample of schools across the state. Because the same test is administered in other states, North Carolina students' performance and progress can be compared with results from students across the country. Once this national test aligned with ADP mathematics benchmarks is finalized, North Carolina will consider adopting the assessment.

For more information on North Carolina's involvement in the effort to develop a common core of education standards, contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.