Part II(continued from Part I...)
They establish what students at each grade level need to learn but in general do not dictate the specific topics teachers should teach or how they should deliver instruction.
The Common Core State Standards do not specify how the states will implement and use the standards. Each state will follow its own procedures in adopting and putting them into practice. States that adopt the CCSS must use all of them but can also add up to 15% of additional content that is state-specific. As of this writing, it appears that some states are using the additional 15% while others are only using the CCSS and nothing more.
A significant advantage in using the Common Core State Standards is that they are more general with broader curriculum application and can potentially lead to higher-level thinking and mastery of 21st century skills rather than focus on lower-level test-prep answers. Overall there is an increased level of rigor expected when using the CCSS.
The Common Core State Standards focus on English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Many of the ELA standards balance the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts. The expectation is for an integrated model of literacy so that these are not taught in isolation. The Mathematics standards feature an internationally benchmarked integrated model of math instruction, particularly at the high school level.
Additionally, because the 6-12 Language Arts standards also focus on literacy standards in social studies, science, and technical subjects, these standards provide us with wide latitude in both content and in ways to teach. Instead of focusing on specific content mastery the Common Core Standards rely on major concepts, ideas, and skills that direct students to use the content to examine questions, to look at multiple issues, and to find a variety of ways to solve problems.
Because the elements discussed above have often been the focus of curriculum and instruction for gifted students, educators are able to use and extend the Common Core State Standards to enhance the learning of these students.