• Ten Questions Often Asked About The Common Core

    1.    What is the Common Core State StandardsInitiative?

    TheCommon Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established asingle set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th gradein English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt. Thestandards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school areprepared to enter credit bearing entry courses in two or four year collegeprograms or enter the workforce. The standards are clear and concise to ensurethat parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of theexpectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language andmathematics in school.

    2.    Why is the Common Core State StandardsInitiative important?

    Highstandards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, andstudents with a set of clear expectations that are aligned to the expectationsin college and careers. The standards promote equity by ensuring all students,no matter where they live, are well prepared with the skills and knowledgenecessary to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States andabroad.. Unlike previous state standards, which were unique to every state inthe country, the Common Core State Standards enable collaboration betweenstates on a range of tools and policies, including:

     

    ·        the development oftextbooks, digital media, and other teaching materials aligned to thestandards;

    ·        and the developmentand implementation of common comprehensive assessment systems to measurestudent performance annually that will replace existing state testing systems;and

    ·        changes needed to helpsupport educators and schools in teaching to the new standards.

    3.    How do the Common Core State Standards compareto previous state standards?

    TheCommon Core State Standards were written by building on the best and higheststate standards in existence in the U.S., examining the expectations of otherhigh performing countries around the world, and careful study of the researchand literature available on what students need to know and be able to do to besuccessful in college and careers. No state in the country was asked to lowertheir expectations for their students in adopting the Common Core. Thestandards are evidence-based, aligned with college and work expectations,include rigorous content and skills, and are informed by other top performingcountries. They were developed in consultation with teachers and parents fromacross the country so they are also realistic and practical for the classroom.

    4.    Will there be tests based on the Common CoreState Standards?

    Yes.States that adopted the Common Core State Standards are currently collaboratingto develop common assessments that will be aligned to the standards and replaceexisting end of year state assessments. These assessments will be available inthe 2014-2015 school year.

    5.    What is the appropriate way to cite the CommonCore State Standards?

    Authors:National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of ChiefState School Officers
    Title: Common Core State Standards (insert specific content area if you areusing only one)
    Publisher: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council ofChief State School Officers, Washington D.C.
    Copyright Date: 2010

    6.    What grade levels are included in the CommonCore State Standards?

    TheEnglish language arts and math standards are for grades K-12. Research from theearly childhood and higher education communities also informed the developmentof the standards.

    7.    What does this work mean for students withdisabilities and English language learners?

    TheCommon Core State Standards give states the opportunity to share experiencesand best practices, which can lead to an improved ability to serve young peoplewith disabilities and English language learners. Additionally, the standardsinclude information on application of the standards for these groups ofstudents.

    8.     Why arethe Common Core State Standards for just English language arts and math?

    Englishlanguage arts and math were the subjects chosen for the Common Core StateStandards because they are areas upon which students build skill sets which areused in other subjects. They are also the subjects most frequently assessed foraccountability purposes.

    9.     What dothe Common Core State Standards mean for students?

    Thestandards provide clarity and consistency in what is expected of studentlearning across the country. This initiative helps provide all students with anequal opportunity for an education, regardless of where they live. The CommonCore State Standards will not prevent different levels of achievement amongstudents, but they will ensure more consistent exposure to materials andlearning experiences through curriculum, instruction, and teacher preparationamong other supports for student learning.

    10.Whattype of texts are recommended for the English language arts standards?

    TheCommon Core State Standards require certain critical content for all students.In addition to content coverage, the standards require that students systematicallyacquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing,speaking, and listening. English teachers will still teach their studentsliterature as well as literary non-fiction. However, because college and careerreadiness overwhelming focuses on complex texts outside of literature, thesestandards also ensure students are being prepared to read, write, and researchacross the curriculum, including in history and science.