Bowen: Vote on rigorous standards creates certainty for Maine schools

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said Monday’s unanimous passage by the Education Committee of the Common Core State Standards means schools throughout the state can start focusing on adjusting their curriculum to the new, rigorous standards.

All but two states collectively developed and plan to adopt the core set of academic standards in mathematics and English Language Arts. Released June 2, 2010, the Common Core build directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college- and career-ready standards and ensuring these standards are evidence- and research-based and internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries.

Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers identify the knowledge and skills their students should have so educators can develop appropriate instructional planning. Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success.

“Schools around the state have looked at and like them, and have told us they want to start using them,” Bowen said. “In fact, some have already begun adapting their curriculum and teaching to meet the new, rigorous standards.

“If we want our students to be successful after high school – whether in further education or in the work place – then we need to challenge them with the most rigorous and relevant standards possible,” Bowen said. “Maine’s previous standards were good; these are even better.”

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted the Common Core Standards to date.

The Education Committee and full Legislature gave initial support last year to moving forward with the Common Core Standards. Final adoption requires legislative action this year. The proposed standards now go to the full House and Senate for final passage.

Read about the Common Core in Maine

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education

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