The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English Language Arts and Mathematics at the end of each grade.
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What are the Common Core Standards?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). Currently, 43 states and 4 territories have adopted the CCSS. The standards were developed in 2009 by a group of teachers, school administrators, and education experts. The goal was to create a set of clear, concise standards that would provide a map for students’ learning from kindergarten through 12th grade.
There are two types of standards in the CCSS: content standards and practice standards. Content standards specify what students should know and be able to do in each grade. For example, the first-grade content standards for reading include expectations such as “ask and answer questions about key details in a text” and “identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.” Practice standards describe the skills and dispositions that students should develop in order to become independent, lifelong learners.
The Common Core Standards are organized into four main categories: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language. Within each category, there are grade-level expectations for students to master. For instance, under the Writing category, third-grade students are expected to “write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.”
The Common Core Standards are designed to be rigorous yet achievable. They promote equity by ensuring that all students receive an education that prepares them for college and careers. The standards also provide educators with a common language around which they can build their curriculum and assessment tools.
The History of the Common Core Standards
The Common Core State Standards were developed in 2009 by a group of educators and experts convened by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were designed to provide a clear, consistent framework for preparing all students for college and the workforce.
The standards are aligned with the expectations of employers and colleges, and they are based on the best available evidence of what students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful. The standards are not designed to be a curriculum or a prescriptive list of lessons; rather, they provide educators with a clear understanding of the skills and knowledge that students need to be college-and career-ready.
The Development of the Common Core Standards
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that resulted in the development of a set of clear college- and career-ready standards in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. The Standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and other experts, and they are aligned with expectations for college andworkforce readiness. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Standards.
The Standards are designed to ensure that all students, regardless of where they live, have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and in their careers. To that end, the Standards establish clear expectations for what all students should know and be able to do at each grade level in both ELA and mathematics. The Standards also provide a framework for educators to develop instructional materials and assessment tools that will enable them to measure student progress toward meeting the Standards.
The Purpose of the Common Core Standards
The purpose of the Common Core standards is to create a set of learning goals that are consistent across all states. This means that students in different states will be expected to achieve the same level of proficiency in reading, writing, and math regardless of where they live.
The standards are also designed to provide teachers with a clear understanding of what they should be teaching their students. This way, teachers can plan their lessons more effectively and ensure that all students are receiving the same quality education.
Finally, the standards are meant to help ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college and career. By setting clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do, the Common Core standards hope to better prepare students for the future.
The Benefits of the Common Core Standards
There are many benefits of the Common Core standards in education. Some of the benefits include:
1. The standards provide a common set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. This helps to ensure that all students have the same opportunities to learn and succeed.
2. The standards are aligned with college and career expectations, so that students are better prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce.
3. The standards promote deeper learning, so that students are able to think critically and solve complex problems.
4. The standards encourage the use of technology and real-world applications, so that students can learn in an engaging and relevant way.
5. The standards promote equity by ensuring that all students have access to the same rigorous learning opportunities, regardless of their background or zip code.
The Implementation of the Common Core Standards
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the Standards”) are a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). The Standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear, consistent framework to prepare all students for college and career readiness by the time they graduate from high school.
Since their launch in 2010, the Standards have been adopted by more than 42 states and the District of Columbia. Implementing the Standards is providing educators with an opportunity to better prepare students for success after high school. The Standards are also helping to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education regardless of their zip code.
In order to support educators as they work to implement the Standards, the Department has compiled resources from across our organization and beyond. This page offers a snapshot of some of those resources, organized around key topics related to implementation.
The Opposition to the Common Core Standards
Since the release of the Common Core standards, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding them. Some people feel that they are an improvement to the education system, while others feel that they are a step in the wrong direction.
The main point of contention surrounds the fact that the standards are not curriculum. They are simply a set of guidelines that states what students should know at the end of each grade. This means that it is up to each individual school and teacher to decide how to best teach the material.
Some people feel that this leaves too much room for interpretation and that it will ultimately lead to confusion and inconsistency. Others feel that it is a much needed change from the previous system, which was often very prescriptive and didn’t allow for much creativity or flexibility.
The debate is likely to continue for some time, but in the meantime, the Common Core standards are here to stay.