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Common Core » Information about the Common Core State Standards

Information about the Common Core State Standards

What are the Common Core State Standards?
In 2009, the National Governors Association for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) joined together to create the Common Core State Standards. Before the Common Core initiative, every state had its own set of academic standards.  For example, the academic expectations for students attending school in Mississippi were different from those for students attending school in California. In addition, before the CCSS, every state had its own end-of-the year assessment. As a result, it was difficult to compare the academic data of students in the same grade level from one state with that of their peers in other states. Common Core created K-12 academic goals and benchmarks that are the same for all students in the United States. This ensures students learn and master the same reading and math skills they need to be successful in college, regardless of the state they went to school. In addition, Common Core established the CCSS to be able to obtain fair, valid, and reliable academic data it can use compare American students nationally and internationally.
How many states are following the Common Core State Standards?
In 2010, the Common Core K-12 English and Math standards were adopted by 46 states, and the District of Columbia. Minnesota only adopted CCSS for English. The CCSS will be implemented by the states, including Nevada, in the 2014-2015 school year.
What makes the Common Core State Standards different than state standards?
The CCSS establishes the same performance metrics in all states that have adopted them; therefore, educational expectations for all students in those states are the same.  For instance, a third grader in Mississippi is now expected to have learned and mastered the same skill sets in reading and math as his or her peers in California. The Common Core State Standards also make it easier to compare students around the nation because students have to take the same exact assessment at the end of the school year.
In order for Common Core states to become aligned to the CCSS, they have to make six academic “shifts” to their curricula and instruction. For example, the Common Core English standards require schools to have a better balance between the number of literary and informational texts students read. As a result, informational texts will now compose fifty percent of the elementary reading material, fifty-five percent in middle school, and seventy percent in high school.  To learn more about Common Core academic shifts, please read the Parent and Student Common Core Shift document on the Academic page.
Where can I get information about the Common Core State Standards?
On the Academic page, you can access a three minute video on the CCSS, the Common Core website, and get information specifically for parents from the National PTA website.