Common Core State Standards’ writers to address URI honors colloquium Nov. 5

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KINGSTON, R.I. – October 29, 2013 – Two policymakers involved in writing the Common Core State Standards will speak at the University of Rhode Island’s semester-long honors colloquium Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Susan Pimentel and Doug Sovde will be answering the question: What are the Common Core State Standards Expectations? They will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus. Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

A complete list of events may be found at Honors Colloquium., where the complete schedule of events is also listed..

Pimentel and Sovde will be speaking as part URI’s 51st annual honors colloquium titled, Great Public Schools, Everyone’s Right? Everyone’s responsibility?

Note to media, for most of the lectures, speakers will be available from 3:30 to 5 p.m for interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing and Communications, 401-874-5862.

The Common Core State Standards are currently only for mathematics and English language arts and will inform the high-stakes test that will replace the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP. Sovde will share sample items from the new test called the Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness or PARCC. These standards and the new test will affect students in grades kindergarten through 12; therefore teachers, parents, grandparents and community members will want to be informed about these key shifts in education. The new core standards are intended to help students prepare for their future in college and at work by implementing standards which will be consistent in every state.

Pimentel is the co-founder of StandardsWork, an organization located in Washington D.C., whose goal is to help communities and schools improve student achievement. She is the co-author of Raising the Standard: An Eight Step Action Guide For Schools and Communities, a best-selling book and CD-ROM published in 1997. The book is focused on educating school communitiess about reforming and reconstructing their curriculum. Pimentel was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board in 2007 and now serves as an educational consultant. She is an education writer, analyst, and consultant. Pimentel was one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards concerning the subject of English language arts and literacy.

Sovde is the director at Achieve, an organization located in Washington D.C,. which helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare young people for college and future careers. He has been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Bellevue, Washington Public Schools. Sovde was heavily involved with the mathematics curriculum development. He was a member of the writing team in charge of the Common Core State Standards regarding mathematics standards, specifically Model Course Pathways in Mathematics.

Pimentel earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Cornell University and earned her law degree there. Doug Sovde attended the University of Washington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He also attended Western Washington University and received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Sovde also was involved in the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program where he received his principal’s certification.

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online at URI Live!

This year’s honors colloquium is coordinated by David Byrd and Diane Kern of the URI School of Education and is supported by: Major Sponsor: URI Honors Program

Sponsors: URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, as well as the following URI colleges, departments and offices, College of Human Sciences and Services, Talent Development, Multicultural Center, University College, WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, College of Arts and Sciences, The Harrington School of Communications and Media, John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering, College of The Environment and Life Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Marketing and Communications, Department of Publications and Creative Services, and Instructional Technology and Media Services. Rhode Island Public Radio is also a sponsor.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401-874-2381 or

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact URI professor Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Program director, at 401-874-4732. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401-874-2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call R.I. Relay Service at 800-745-5555.

This release was written by Ahsley Henry, a University of Rhode Island senior majoring in communication studies.