As Education Week has reported today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan clarified that states will not have to endorse the Common Core State Standards in order to successfully obtain a waiver from portions of No Child Left Behind. While the full details of Duncan’s all-or-nothing waiver proposal have not been released, most (including Education Sector’s Kevin Carey) speculated that states would have to demonstrate they embraced high academic content standards – i.e. Common Core – in order to be let off the hook for meeting the 100% proficiency by 2014 deadline.
While taping C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program, Duncan assured states who have not yet adopted Common Core that the Department is “happy to work with them” as long as they verify their own standards are rigorous. Duncan also noted that this process would likely involve states having their standards approved by their state’s postsecondary institutions – supposedly to certify that they are “college and career ready” standards.