Virginia and the Common Core Standards

Even when states aren’t using the Common Core Standards, they still find themselves, well, using the Common Core Standards. Take Virginia, for example. In an article published by the Virginia-Pilot, Virginia’s educational standards are shown to mirror the purpose of the Common Core Standards.

It’s an appropriate move for the Commonwealth—Virginia was part of the committee to create the Common Core State Standards Initiative. So after all the work they put in to creating these Standards, why defer participation?

Part of the reason, according to the article, is a desire not to throw the towel in on a set of standards the state has been developing for a decade. The article states, “David Coleman, one of the national system’s architects, told an audience recently in Norfolk that research from around the world had shown American students were being taught too many subjects too superficially. ‘The standards need to be fewer, clearer, higher,’ he said.”

That is exactly what the Virginia Department of Education has been trying to build for the last 10 years.

In 2010, the Common Core Standards hit the shelves, and the vast majority of the states bought in, so to speak. Virginia saw the benefits, and I found this on their website:

VDOE and the Board of Education are using the commonwealth’s established process for adopting and revising academic standards to incorporate content from the Common Core State Standards into the Standards of Learning (SOL). In doing so, the board and department are ensuring that expectations for teaching and learning in Virginia schools are comparable to, or in some instances exceed, those of the voluntary national standards.

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Virginia plans to meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards—and whether they achieve that goal or not, the important part is that they are creating a language around building both teacher and student capacity. The greatest thing that we can do for our students is to expect more from them and believe that they really can meet our expectations. Children have vast potential, and Virginia is expecting more from all children in what can prove to be the state’s most equitable move in education.

I personally applaud Virginia’s decisions. They recognize the quality in the Common Core Standards, and they are adopting the points that work for them while continuing with the system that they already have in place.

What do you think about Virginia’s quasi-integration of the Common Core Standards?

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