The Common Core State Standards are a national US program which outlines
what students should know and the skills they must master for each grade
in English/language arts and math. The CCSS also addresses standards related
to reading in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects
for Grades 6-12.
The CCSS was created to ensure the standardization of education across
states and to ensure that graduates are ready for life in the workforce
or to enter college or a trade school. Assessment of the student’s
abilities is still up to the individual state and the CCSS is not yet
aligned with English Language Proficiency standards.
The CCSS are based on research and benchmarked to what students need to
learn in order to compete in a global job market. With the new curriculum
comes new testing methods which are designed to more accurately assess
student’s abilities and whether they have the skills they need for
their careers or further studies.
While students and teachers adjust to the new standards and new testing
methods, an initial drop in grades is expected. This is expected to be
a short term drop as teachers and students adapt to the new standards.
The CCSS is only designed to create a student body that is better prepared
for post-school studies and careers; it only covers the skills that students
need and doesn’t dictate curriculum or the content of assessments.
The teachers will select texts, assignments and tests.
In order for parents to effectively help their students to acquire the
necessary skills, they must have a good understanding of the demands that
the CCSS place on students at each grade. There are a number of resources
available for that including:
Being informed will help you to support your students through the transition
and will also mean you understand which skills they must master to score
well on the assessments. If you are unsure how to help your child, ask
you teacher or in-home tutor for advice on how to effectively implement the CCSS.
Pic by Randen Peterson