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Superintendent Dorn Formally Adopts Common Core Standards
for Washington

The new standards will be implemented in state classrooms in the 2013-14 school year

OLYMPIA — July 20, 2011 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced today that he is formally adopting the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics.

Washington became the 44th state, in addition to one territory and the District of Columbia, to adopt the common core standards. Washington will officially begin the process to introduce the standards into state classrooms by the 2013-14 school year. The goal of the standards is to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for college and the workforce.

“I believe the common core standards are the first step in helping our nation move forward with true education reform,” Dorn said. “The standards are clear and will benefit our students. They’ll be better prepared for post-high school, no matter the path they choose.

“In addition, having similar learning standards throughout most states will certainly help students who move to Washington. We live in a mobile society, and with our state’s large number of military families, the transition to a new state and new school will be made a little easier as they’ll be able to essentially pick up where they left off in their previous home.”

Dorn, as directed by Section 601 of the Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6696, provisionally adopted the common core standards in July 2010. The formal adoption and implementation of the new standards could not occur until after the 2011 state Legislature had an opportunity to review a report by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and take action if necessary.

In June, OSPI convened a bias and sensitivity committee to review the standards and provide implementation recommendations around instruction and instructional supports to ensure the success of traditionally underserved groups in our state. The committee supported formal adoption of the common core standards.

Washington is also the lead fiscal state for the 29-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two multi-state consortia’s developing assessments based on the common core standards. Those new exams will first assess the common core standards in the 2014-15 school year.

In a time of continued cuts to the state education budget, Dorn said the common core standards, along with the SMARTER Balanced assessments, will have a positive financial benefit as states will be able to pool their resources for textbooks and assessments.

“The availability of aligned textbooks and other instructional materials will be significantly increased,” he said. “And, testing costs will be reduced because we’ll have common assessments – not 50 different states designing and administering 50 different tests.”

The common core standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and education experts.

The common core standards will be rolled out to state teachers beginning in the 2012-13 school year. During the 2011-12 school year, OSPI and statewide educational partners, including the nine Educational Service Districts, will begin key transitional activities that will include forming advisory groups and developing regional support structures and materials.

Students will continue to be tested on Washington’s 2005 reading and writing standards, and on the 2008 mathematics standards through the 2013-14 school year. Testing on Washington’s common core state standards for English language arts and math will occur in the 2014-15. Washington’s learning standards in other subject areas remain intact and can be located at

Visit OSPI’s common core standards Website ( for timelines and resource materials and continue to visit that site for updates.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

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Chris Barron
Assessment Communications Manager
(360) 725-6032

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

Assessment Communications Manager
Chris Barron
(360) 725-6032


   Updated 6/12/2015

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