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New Tenn. Coalition Aims to Promote, Support Common Core

Tennessee's push to implement the Common Core State Standards is getting support from a new statewide coalition announced today that includes leaders in business, education, and other sectors.

The Expect More, Achieve More coalition, more than 100 strong so far, will work to build awareness across the state about the common core, and provide tools to educators, parents, and community members to help students meet the new standards, according to a press release from the nonprofit group Tennessee SCORE.

"We're in the process of implementing the common-core standards, adopted in 2010," said Jamie Woodson, the president and CEO of Tennessee SCORE, founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill First (R-Tenn.). "The goal is really simple, to build statewide and local support to raise the bar in the classroom."

The coalition includes several local chambers of commerce, as well as the state department of education, more than two dozen school districts, and a variety of others, such as local boys and girls clubs and urban leagues, the Tennessee PTA, and the Tennessee Education Association.

"It's a pretty diverse coalition," Woodson told me. "It is a shift, and a significant shift [for the state to take on new standards], but one we feel the state is ready for."

The new coalition already has a few resources at the ready, including:

• a five-minute video that explains the common core and how it fits with Tennessee's other education efforts;

ExpectMoreTN.org, an online resource that includes specific information for parents, teachers, and community members; and

• a brochure being distributed across the state to provide parents and community members with clear information about the common core.

You can find the full list of coalition members here.

UPDATE (Sept. 12)

I just learned that officials in Arizona also have recently unveiled a set of tools for educators, families, and business leaders to learn more about the common core, ArizonaCommonCore.org. Announced last week by the Arizona Public Engagement Task Force, along with Gov. Jan Brewer and state Superintendent John Huppenthal, the "toolkit" includes an overview of the standards, an "elevator speech" to explain and promote them, talking points, a template letter for educators to share with parents, and a slide presentation for families, among other materials.

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