Education: What Is Common Core And What Are The Standards?

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

What are the Common Core Standards?

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.

Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the CCSS to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.


Implementation Plan

Approved on March 7, 2012, by the State Board of Education, the CCSS systems implementation plan is a living document that identifies major phases and activities in the implementation of the CCSS throughout California’s educational system.

  • Common Core State Standards Systems Implementation – Significant Milestones Timeline
    An interactive timeline to help you learn more about the significant milestones in CCSS implementation. Includes information regarding the development of CCSS-aligned curriculum frameworks, English language development standards, career technical education standards, and assessments. Also includes information regarding the transition to a new assessment system and the review of CCSS-aligned supplemental instructional materials.
  • Appendix A: Local CCSS Systems Implementation Plan Template (DOC)
    Each of California’s local educational agencies should develop its own local plan for CCSS systems implementation based on local needs and resources. To facilitate the process of local plan development, this section of the document offers a template organized around the significant milestones of CCSS systems implementation.
  • CCSS Systems Implementation Guide
    This resource, designed to support local CCSS implementation, provides suggestions and resources organized by the seven guiding strategies of the CCSS Systems Implementation Plan for California.
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
    Information about the new generation of assessments.

    • Sample Items and Performance Tasks External link opens in new window or tab.
      Smarter Balanced sample items illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English language arts/literacy and mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the Consortium’s next-generation assessments.
    • Practice Tests
      The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests are now available for grades three through eight and grade eleven in English-language arts and mathematics. The Practice Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments, but do not reflect the full range of content that students may encounter on the actual assessments.
  • Resources Listserv
    Join the CCSS Resources listserv and receive information and updates regarding the implementation of the CCSS.





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