Do you have a school-aged child? If so, you may be interested in learning more about the Common Core. The Common Core State Standards were designed to emphasize analytical thinking and deep learning and to make sure that all students across our nation are held to the same high standards and criteria. The United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the measure is the “single greatest thing to happen to public education since Brown versus the Board of Education.” I’ve been asked a lot about the Common Core by friends who know I work in education so I thought I’d write a brief blog post outlining the major points.
1. What is the Common Core? The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are educational standards that describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject and in each grade. Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math.
2. What’s the rationale for the CCSS? Having the same standards across the nation helps ensure that all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state.
3. Who leads the CCSS Initiative? The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Associations (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the CCSS to prepare students for success in college and eventually in the workplace.
4. Why is the CCSS Initiative important? High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations that are aligned to the expectations in college and careers. The standards promote equity by ensuring all students, no matter where they live, are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad. Unlike previous state standards, which were unique to every state in the country, the Common Core State Standards enable collaboration between states on a range of tools and policies, including:
- the development of textbooks, digital media, and other teaching materials aligned to the standards;
- and the development and implementation of common comprehensive assessment systems to measure student performance annually that will replace existing state testing systems; and
- changes needed to help support educators and schools in teaching to the new standards.
5. Want to read/learn more about the CCSS?
Here is a link to the California State PTA website which posts helpful information on the CCSS.