Donald Hall, chair of the Department of English and Jackson Distinguished Chair of British Literature, will assist the American Council on Education on the Common Core State Standards Initiative for improving English language arts in grades K-12.

Hall was appointed by ACE and the Modern Language Association (MLA) to the ACE/MLA English Language Arts Standards Review Panel made up of distinguished members of the English profession who will assess how well newly released standards describe the knowledge and skills they believe are necessary for college readiness.

“The Common Core State Standards Initiative will be the first set of national standards established compared to previous standards developed at state and local levels,” Hall said. “We hope our recommendations will provide parents and school systems with common expectations for college-bound students across the country.”

Hall explained that while this won’t be a set of strict rules or guidelines, it will allow for some degree of standardization and understanding of how students in West Virginia are prepared for what out-of-state universities expect. The initiative recognizes the reality of high school students choosing colleges across the nation rather than just in their home state.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a result of governors and state commissioners of education from across the country committing to join a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards will be research- and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills.

The initiative is a joint effort by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in partnership with Achieve, ACT and the College Board. The NGA Center and CCSSO are coordinating the process to develop these standards.

If changes that will improve the draft document are identified, the panel will arrive at consensus on three to five highest priority changes to recommend to the NGA Center and CCSSO.

Draft standards are now available for review at

For more information, contact Donald Hall at (304) 293-3100 or



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