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Governors announce cross-state education guidelines for U.S. students

By Sally Holland, CNN
  • States come together to develop standards for all U.S. students
  • Officials say standards are aligned with college and work expectations
  • Teachers' group supports nationwide standards
  • Texas and Alaska say they'll wait to see guidelines before deciding on them

Washington (CNN) -- In a departure from the current state autonomy for what U.S. children are taught, the National Governors Association and state education chiefs Wednesday announced their recommendations for education standards nationwide.

The goal is for all U.S. students in grades K-12 to have the same skills as their contemporaries, across state lines.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in a written statement, said, "States have come together to develop standards that are internationally bench-marked and include the knowledge and skills that students must learn to succeed in college and career."

According to the release, the standards are aligned with college and work expectations and will prepare students to succeed in the global economy.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten supports the standards, saying in a news release, "If we use these common standards as the foundation for better schools, we can give all kids a robust curriculum taught by well-prepared, well-supported teachers who can help prepare them for success in college, life and careers."

Forty-eight states, two territories and the District of Columbia have worked together for the past year to come up with the Common Core State Standards. Education officials in Alaska and Texas have said they will wait to review the published core guidelines before deciding whether they will adopt them.

Now, the project moves into the next phase of having each state adopt and implement the standards. Each state has its own procedures for adoption of the standards and can opt out of the program if it wants.

The Common Core State Standards list what is expected of a child at each grade level, but they don't give details on how an educator should teach the material.

The academic criteria include what are called "college and career ready" standards for graduating high school. For example, in addition to reading and writing, a high school graduate should no just understand word meanings, but also understand nuances in word meanings.

For mathematics, students will need to do things such as perform arithmetic operations on polynomials and understand functions.

The full set of standards can be found at