Successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards requires parents, educators, policymakers, and other
public officials to have the facts about what the standards are and following the development, intent, content, and implementation of the standards.
The Common Core standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college, career, and life. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. In fact, since this work began, there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. The standards were informed by the best in the country, the highest international standards, and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes. We need college- and career-ready standards because even in high‐performing states, students are graduating and passing all the required tests but still need remediation in their postsecondary work.
Standards from top-performing countries played a significant role in the development of the math and English language arts/literacy standards. In fact, the college- and career-ready standards provide an appendix listing the evidence that was consulted in drafting the standards, including the international standards that were consulted in the development process.
Core standards recognize that both content and skills are important.
The English language arts standards require certain critical content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s founding documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. Appropriately, the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are made at the state and local levels. In addition to content coverage, the standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
The mathematics standards lay a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Taken together, these elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges. They prepare students to think and reason mathematically. The standards set a rigorous definition of college and career readiness not by piling topic upon topic, but by demanding that students develop a depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do.
Core standards were drafted by
public officials and teachers
from across the country and are
designed to ensure students are
prepared for today’s entry-level
careers, freshman-level college
courses, and workforce training
programs. The Common Core
focuses on developing the
problem-solving, and analytical
skills students will need to be
successful. Forty-three states,
the District of Columbia, four
territories, and the Department
of Defense Education Activity have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the standards
Common Core also provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year and ensure that students are on the pathway to success in their academic careers.