Thursday, April 19, 2012

Introduction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Part I

The Common Core Standards (also known as the Common Core State Standards or CCSS) are the result of an initiative begun by the states and coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

These K-12 standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects were developed and reviewed by teachers, professional organizations, content experts, civil rights groups, post-secondary educators, administrators, and other educational experts with the goal of defining “the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so they graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and workforce training programs.” The CCSS provide an understandable and coherent framework for educating American children.

The Common Core State Standards are based on the most effective standards from states throughout the country and from other countries around the world. They provide guidelines about what students throughout the United States are expected to know and be able to do as a result of their schooling. The major advantage of such standards is that they are consistent for all students no matter where they live. In an age of globalization, and when many students are highly mobile and move from one state to another, such standards are essential.

According to the NGA Center and the CCSSO, these standards: 
  • are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • are clear, understandable, and consistent;
  • include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • build upon the strengths and the lessons of current state standards;
  • are informed by other top performing countries;
  • are internationally bench-marked to prepare students to function in a global economy;
  • are a living work that will be revised on a set review cycle;
  • have technology blended into all strands and domains;
  • focus on research as an important skill throughout all strands; and
  • are evidence-based and research-based.

These standards establish appropriate benchmarks for all students and provide a common framework to guide each state in helping all students succeed. While these standards do not specify or stipulate specific texts, they do require certain critical content for all students.

**You can also check out the links on the right (under the heading "Pages") for more information!**

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