June 2008—The Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership, which had received a $2.2 million grant from the Gates Foundation the previous month to promote the adoption of national standards among governors, hosts a conference with the National Governors Association (NGA) to explore strategies to make the United States a global leader in education.1
2008—NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO) begin accepting grants from private organizations to write Common Core.2
December 2008—NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve provide the Obama Administration with Benchmarking for Success outlining the state adoption of a common core of internationally benchmarked standards and assuring that state textbooks, curricula, and assessments are aligned to these standards as two of the top five priorities.
February 17, 2009—The American Recovery and Restoration Act authorizes the Race to the Top program (RTTT), and Secretary Duncan announces that $5 billion have been allotted for education incentives.
March 7, 2009—The RTTT program is announced. Applying states had to demonstrate their willingness and readiness to adopt common “college- and career-ready” standards. (This was listed as an “absolute priority” on the RTTT score sheet.)
June 1, 2009—The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative is launched, and 48 states sign a memorandum committing to the development of standards.
September 2009—The first draft of CCSS is released by NGA and CCSSO.
January 19, 2010—The deadline for Phase I of RTTT.
March 2010—The second draft of CCSS is released.
April 14, 2010—Stage II applications for RTTT funding requiring states to commit to adopt “a common set of K–12 standards by August 2, 2010” are due.
June 2, 2010—The final Common Core State Standards are published.
August 2, 2010—RTTT Stage II application revision deadline. Revisions must demonstrate each state’s implementation efforts. Thirty-one states (and the District of Columbia) have already adopted the Common Core.
December 31, 2010—Ten more states have adopted the Common Core, and five more will join by the end of 2011.
2013–14—TARGET: All participating states will have fully implemented the Common Core into their curricula.
2014–15—TARGET: States in consortia will administer new assessments.
1 Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, “Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America,” A Pioneer Institute White Paper no. 87 (May 2012): 3.