Arlington, VA. — The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) will host state board of education members from across the country at a series of regional meetings to discuss the contents and future of Common Core Standards in math and English Language Arts for K-12 education. The meetings are being made possible by a $450,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and are open to members of any state board of education in the U.S.

Although the standards are being developed by a consortium of state political and education leadership organizations, in at least two-thirds of the U.S. state boards of education have final responsibility for passing judgment on all academic standards. NASBE’s regional forums will have the unique opportunity to discuss not only their role in the passage and implementation of state standards, and those educational issues particular to their respective geographic region.

“State boards are the authority in most states that are responsible for adopting standards and will way major roles in the advent of common standards,” said NASBE executive Director Brenda Welburn. “It is critical for state boards members to attend these meetings, where they will be able discuss the content of the standards, as well as what follows their adoption. This may include the regional development of the assessments and instructional materials needed to implement the standards.”

The meetings will take place in the first quarter of 2010 in NASBE’s Northeast, Southern, Central and Western areas as boards consider adopting the standards, which are slated for release by the National Governors’ Association and the Chief State School Officers in late January. The grant also provides travel expenses for three team members from each state, two of whom must be state board members.

Adoption will mean a state board accepts all of the standards as written, and the state may add up to 15 percent of its own standards. The meetings will provide a forum for board members to better understand the process for adopting the new standards, and how NASBE can assist them in the months that follow adoption.