October 24, 2014

SC becomes 25th state to adopt new education standards (AUDIO)

(from press release/interview)

South Carolina is now the 25th state to adopt a national set of academic benchmarks that detail the math and reading skills students will learn as they move through public school grades.

The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to adopt “Common Core Standards” developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The Common Core standards were developed over the last 12 months by teachers, parents, school administrators, civil rights leaders, education policymakers, business leaders and others from across the country. The group produced multiple drafts and collected comments from more than 10,000 people online.  State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex says this is the first time states have collaborated to determine what students should know.

AUDIO: Rex on new standards (3:20)

The initiative’s goal is to replace a hodgepodge of academic goals that vary considerably from one state to the next. More than 40 states are currently working toward Common Core approvals.

Rex says the new standards will affect different states in different ways.  He says South Carolina will have to make few changes because it’s standards are already high.

Rex says states that voluntarily adopt the Common Core may add additional standards as long as the core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and math.  The Education Department would help teachers master any instructional transitions that might be needed.

Rex says the Common Core will make learning easier for students whose families move from one state to another, and help to address the big concern that American students may not stack up to those from other countries. Rex calls that international benchmarking.

Governor Mark Sanford co-signed South Carolina’s Common Core project application with Rex.