Gov. Jay Nixon signed an agreement Friday that commits the state of Missouri to participating in the development of a common core of state standards in education.
The agreement is the first step for Missouri to agree to adopt core standards for states in English and Math for elementary and secondary students.
"Missouri has been a leader in developing high standards and assessments, and will continue in this role," Gov. Nixon wrote in a letter with the agreement, which was sent to the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices.
Because of an ongoing search for a new Commissioner of Education, Nixon said the state was initially going to wait to sign on. "I believe, however, that the development of Common Core Standards is important to warrant taking this initial step and signing on in my capacity as Governor," Nixon said.
The Common Core Standards Initiative is being jointly led by the NGA Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The goal is to have a common core of state standards that states can voluntarily adopt. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core as long as the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and mathematics.