What Is the Common Core?

Released in 2010, the Common Core is a set of curriculum standards, covering English, language arts and mathematics, based on what all American students need to know before entering college or the workplace. Fifteen school districts nationwide are preparing to launch a test of new standards as early as this fall. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia will fully implement the standards for the 2014-15 school year.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) led the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The groups worked with representatives from participating states, a wide range of educators – including Chuck Pack – content experts, researchers, national organizations, and community groups. The Common Core standards are also informed by the standards of other high performing nations, including Finland.

Their purpose is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, no matter where they live, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.

They’re also designed to be much more rigorous than current standards and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.

“Rather than reading drills, we’ll ask students to apply reading skills in a broader, ‘real world’ context,” explains says Barbara Kapinus, National Education Association Senior Policy Analyst, who facilitated NEA teacher member input and feedback for the development of the new standards. “Instead of asking kids to stand in one spot and throw basketballs into a hoop over and over again, we’re getting them to play as a team and score points in a real game, using not only their shooting or layup skills, but dribbling, passing, and all of the other skills necessary to play the sport well.”

So gone are the days of summary book reports – students will have to analyze the story rather than rehash the plot  – and no more teaching kindergartners only to memorize the hands on the clock to tell time.. Now they’ll learn numeracy – the relationships between the numbers, so they’re prepared to learn more complex relationships with higher numbers in first and second grade and beyond.

Original Article located at the NEA Today