Kentucky first drew national attention when its Supreme Court declared the entire system of schools to be unconstitutional in Rose v Council for Better Education, 790 S. W. 2d 186 (1989). The Rose case, argued by former Kentucky Governor Bert Combs, launched a third wave of school reform litigation based on both equity and adequacy as expressed in state constitutions (Day 2011, 2-4). On February 11, 2010, in an unprecedented joint meeting, the chairs of the Kentucky Board of Educat ion, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Education Professional Standards Board signed a resolution directing their respective agencies to implement the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics. This act formalized Kentucky’s commitment to integrate the nascent standards into the state’s public education system – the first state to do so. This article will trace the antecedents to Kentucky’s adoption of the standards as one expression of the late 20th century/early 21st century “corporate school reform movement” as manifested in the Commonwealth. The state that led America to reconsider how its schools should be funded, now celebrates a newfound spirit of interagency cooperation as it leaps at the opportunity to join with other states in an effort to define what students need to know and be able to do.

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