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West Virginia Approves Common Standards

Another state has given the conditional nod to the common standards. At its May 12 meeting, the West Virginia board of education voted unanimously to "approve" the standards in English/language arts and math, and implement them in the 2011-12 school year.

I was intrigued by the phrasing in the board's motion (the board "approved" the standards "for alignment" with its own.). So I asked department of education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro if "approval for alignment with" was the same thing as adoption. She said it was.

I wondered, also, if aligning the common core with a state's own standards is the same thing as adopting 100 percent of the common standards, word for word, as the National Governors Association and Chief State School Officers have said is the express intent—and full expectation—of the initiative.

Cordeiro said the state is adopting the entire common core. "This in no way means we are going to pick and choose pieces of the common core," she said. It's more a matter of making sure the common standards are put into a form that's consistent with West Virginia's curriculum and standards format, she said.

The state's approval, like the approvals of Hawaii, Maryland and Kentucky, is contingent on reviewing the final version of the standards, which are due out June 2.

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