I've been following the progress of the Common Core curriculum with some amazement over the last years. Here's a quick summary.
Some people, apparently in Kentucky, feel that the usual process for the creation of standards should be replaced. Usually, the Dept of Education (or some federal agency like the NSF) gives grants to national groups to create exemplar sets of standards. Typically, these model standards are created by groups such as the National Council of Teachers of Math, or the National Association of Teachers of Science etc NCTM, NATM, NSTA etc. Then each state reviews and accepts or modifies these standards per their own state approach. Massachusetts typically moves all the grades down a level, Learn that in 4th grade? Heck no, we'll do that in 3rd. In contrast, it's said that Mississippi takes the opposite approach and then trims a little more to make it appropriate for their state. Texas of course refuses to admit that they even look at the exemplars although of course their standards look suspiciously exactly like all the other state except they are called TEKs.
But, I digress. These peopkle from Kentucky, talked to a sleepy group called the National Council of State Education Officers (CCSSO). While I'm not entirely sure, I'm pretty sure that this organization had never done anything significant before in it's history.
This group decided that they would set some exemplar standards. Very ambitious. Fortunately, some foundations such as the Gates foundation quickly hooked up with them and provide deep deep grants for the effort. A antional non profit educational foundation called Achieve was hired to do the actual work.... (More later, stay tuned....