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Learning Labs

Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards are K-12 English Language Arts/Literacy and Math standards that will create a clear, consistent level of knowledge for our public school students no matter where they live.

 Q&A from the California Educator

1. They Will Deepen Problem-Solving Skills and Critical Thinking
The math standards will allow educators to focus on fewer topics and dive into them more deeply and rigorously, making sure kids grasp concepts fully so they can master them and apply them to real world problems. The English and literacy standards emphasize critical thinking, comprehension, analysis, and writing, and highlight the growing complexity of texts students must read to prepare for the demands of college and career.

2. They Promote Greater Opportunity for All Kids
Research shows that in some pockets of the country, particularly low-income neighborhoods, students are placed in larger classes with watered-down curriculum and out-of-date learning materials. The result is too many kids graduating without the basic knowledge and skills required for college or the workplace. CCSS, properly implemented, ensures that all students, no matter where they live, will graduate prepared for college, careers, and citizenship.

3. They Bring Back Flexibility and Creativity
Unlike the “drill and kill” test prep associated with NCLB, CCSS only provide the framework of what should be taught –teachers get to decide how they’ll teach them based on their expertise and judgment. Educators can find more creative, hands-on applications that are more engaging for everyone.

4. They Call for Collaborative Decisions
The standards give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to offer our children a world-class education in every state of the country, but we must be flexible in how they’re implemented, applied and assessed over time. We’re in a process of discovery – as we collect information – administrators, teachers, support staff, and parents must collaborate to ensure the best possible implementation occurs so students can reap the benefits of that collaboration.

5. Implementation is the Key to Success
We must work together with parents and community members to demand a plan that makes sense to transition to the new standards and to ensure next generation assessment systems are fair and include multiple, appropriate and valid measures of student success.

Get Started

  • Common Core State Standards Initiative Official Website

    From Frequently Asked Questions to Myths vs Facts, this website is a wealth of information to get you started understanding the Common Core State Standards.

  • Common Core Standards Toolkit
    This toolkit provides general background and links to pertinent information about the CCSS, as well as practical assistance and planning.
  • CCSS Video Series

    The Hunt Institute offers a wealth of video resources dedicated to getting educators up to speed with the Common Core Standards.

  • Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

    Use Bloom’s revised taxonomy to help plan effective instruction and challenge students to move from the most basic skills (remembering) to more complex learning which leads to higher order thinking (creating).

Implementation

  • 5 Ways to Implement CCSS Right

    CCSS have the potential to offer every student, no matter where they live, the same high academic standards. However, proper implementation and the creation of fair, appropriate assessments is critical to success.

  • Overview: Smarter Balanced Assessment
    Aligned with CCSS, Smarter Balanced Assessments go beyond multiple choice to include performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate research, writing, and analytical skills. SBA is designed to give teachers better feedback to inform instruction.
  • Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium
    The 2013-14 school year brings major milestones for Smarter Balanced, including the launch of the Field Test in the spring. By this time next year, we will be preparing for the launch of the assessment system.

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

© 1999- California Teachers Association