CSG South

Just three years ago, almost every state in the nation belonged to a national testing consortium, such as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) whereas, today, barely half continue to participate in these multi-state comparative student assessments. The Southern region, in particular, has seen a shift away from the national testing consortia to state-specified student testing. As state education systems adapt to their new educational standards of college- and career-readiness, state governments continue to modify their approach to assessing student learning toward these standards.

After dismissing PARCC and Smarter Balanced, several states' education systems began, and currently continue, a transition to various alternatives. This SLC Regional Resource provides an overview of the strategies that SLC member states have undertaken for student testing, as of October 1, 2015. Specifically, the analysis examines the current status of K-12 testing requirements implemented by the 15 SLC member states for their general public school populations and the experiences of these states as they seek to improve their student performance measurement systems. Further, the report focuses on the many adjustments and changes to K-12 English language arts and mathematics student assessment systems implemented by Southern states in the post-Common Core educational era, geared toward preparing college- and career-ready students.

CSG South

In June 2009, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced an initiative led by 46 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories aimed at developing and adopting a Common Core set of learning standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and math for grades K-12. By March 2012, 45 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories had adopted both the Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics. Although the majority of states continue to stay their course with Common Core, Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have reversed their implementation of Common Core, and government officials in several others states have called for a reversal or delay in implementation. This SLC Regional Resource provides SLC member stat es information regarding the status and recent legislative developments related to the Common Core standards, as of December 26, 2014.

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Earlier this year, Indiana became the first U.S. state to opt out of Common Core education standards, and the repeal movement continues to attract interest in other Midwestern states as well.

High-profile programs like Race to the Top and Common Core have brought education reform again to the front of the national agenda. Discussion, however, settles over class size, teacher certification and teacher compensation because they seem like the most important issues related to student achievement. Significantly less time is spent on discussing the role of the principal. With increasingly complex duties, higher accountability and only modest pay increases, the principal’s job has become frustrating and unappreciated. Nevertheless, new studies are shedding light on the substantial impact that principals, as a part of institutional leadership, have on student performance.

According to the 2014 “Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools” by the Council for Economic Education, states have made progress toward implementing standards in personal finance or economics education over the last 15 years. According to the report, which evaluates K-12 economic and financial education across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, all 50 states included economics and 43 states included personal finance education in their K-12 standards for the first time in 2013. Compare that to 38 states with economics standards and 21 states with personal finance standards in 1998.

Early in the 2014 legislative session Education Committee Chair Gary Stevens wanted to open the conversation related to Alaska’s state academic standards and their relation to the Common Core State Standards.   He arranged a two-day hearing to discuss implementation of the state standards.

At today's meeting of the Idaho House Education Committee I had the opportunity to dialogue with members about rigorous academic standards and competency-based education.  The representatives are investigating opportunities as a result of the Governor's task force on education.  Recommendations were released in September 2013 after eight months of thoughtful research and deliberation by the task force members.


It is clear we need American students to be more than warehouses of knowledge and information as the expectation has been in the past.  As a nation we must bring our educational system up-to date so students also can apply knowledge and solve complex problems. This begins with high-quality early learning, continues through K-12 then continues until college completion and careers.  Students must be able to work not only independently, but also with each other; they also need to be able to communicate ideas effectively. In short, to be successful in today’s world, every student must graduate from high school college- and career-ready.  In order to ensure student success from early education through college completion and careers policymakers must address these 5 issues as legislatures begin this year.

Stateline Midwest ~ July/August 2013

Ever since he led efforts this year to pause implementation of Common Core in Indiana, Sen. Scott Schneider has been fielding calls from policymakers across the country.
“It’s playing out in just about every other state out there,” Schneider says about the recent re-examination of these K-12 education standards.

During the 66th annual meeting of CSG West, the Education Committee held a session on pre-k education and rigorous academic standards and assessment systems, focusing on those practices in the western region. The session featured several representatives from national groups, including the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and Achieve, an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization pushing for college- and career-readiness, as well as representatives from various state departments in the west.