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Hawaii, Maryland Tentatively OK Common Standards

Two more states have adopted the common standards even before they are out in final form.

Yesterday, the Maryland board of education voted to adopt them, and last Thursday, Hawaii's board of education did the same. (See here for an earlier memo that formed the basis of the motion the board later voted on.) With Kentucky's February decision, that makes three states (unless I've missed something) that have approved the common standards. All three states made their approvals conditional upon examination of the final standards document, which is due out on June 2.

You'd be hard pressed to separate these early adoptions from states' desires to secure a portion of the money available under Race to the Top, which favors states that commit to adopting the common core by Aug. 2. More than two dozen states are currently planning to adopt within that timeline.

As Maryland department of education spokesman William Reinhard told The Washington Post: The state "wants to show the folks that are evaluating Race to the Top proposals that we're serious about it." And as Hawaii board of ed spokesman Alex Da Silva told me by e-mail yesterday: "The Board wanted to take this vote ahead of Hawaii turning in its phase 2 Race to the Top application because of its strong support for the Common Core State Standards and what it can do to help all states better prepare students for college and careers."

These states aren't voting blind, because they've been reviewing and giving feedback on each iteration of the standards as they have evolved. Stay tuned as more states face the issue, and as the conditional states vote again on full, final adoption.

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