In an increasing global world, American High schools students are entering a world in which colleges and businesses require more skills than ever before. The Common Core State Standards establishes a clear, consistent guidelines for what each child is expected to know in math and English language arts – from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Educational experts and teachers from across the country have designed the standards and provided guidelines to teachers which ensures pupils are prepared for life in America today, after High school. These include entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs. The Common Core focuses on developing the critical-reasoning-and-thinking skills, which are needed in today’s challenging work environment. Most states have voluntarily adopted the common standards.
Teachers are able to use the new standards to measure student progress during the course of the school year and make sure that students are on the path to achievement in their academic careers.
Using the existing state standards, experts and teachers have developed the Common Core State Standards that provide clear, understandable and consistent goals on what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every parent, teacher and pupil can understand progress and develop the right areas in learning and linked to college and career skills. A key focus on the common standards is based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills and informed by other top-performing countries in education to establish our students for success in our global economy and society. This will ensure that American students make good progress each year and leave high school with sound skills to succeed in college, career, and life.
Although the standards set grade-specific goals, the common standards do not prescribe how teachers should deliver the teaching to order to meet the standards or which resources and activities should be used to teach the students. Special needs and English language learners, will require special support so that they can master the common standards. As learning rates and achievements vary in the classroom the standards are a sign pots to reflect the range of abilities. Full flexibility is provided for states to define the full range of supports appropriate for these students to pave the way to the aim of college and career readiness for all pupils.
What are educational standards?
The standards are used by teacher in elementary school to High school so children share the same learning goals. It covers what students should be taught, the skills and knowledge they need to be able to do at each grade level in English language arts and mathematics.
What is the Common Core?
Common core was designed by education experts, governors in 48 states. These clearly set the standards that children ought to achieve by college making them career-ready. Voluntarily, 43 states have chosen to implement the standards. These standards are designed to prepare students completing high school to take introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or move into the workforce society.
Which bodies directed the development of the Common Core State Standards?
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), directed the development of the Common Core State Standards. These governors and educational commissioners continue to direct the initiative.
Key voice was provided by state leaders, teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the 48 states, provided key input in influencing the design and development of the standards.
States and schools have the freedom to decide how to implement the Common Standards. Freedom includes: how the common standards are taught, how the curriculum is developed, and the freedom to select resources used to support teaching to help students reach the standards.
Were teachers involved in the creation of the standards?
Yes. Across the country, teacher’s voice influenced the design and development of the standards. Teachers were involved in the development process, serving on the Work Groups and Feedback Groups for the ELA and math standards. Other instrumental organisations that brought teachers together were: The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
These teachers provided regular feedback on drafts of the standards and provided invaluable input on the Common Core State Standards throughout the two public comment periods.
Why are the Common Core State Standards important?
The Common Core State Standards are important because it brings consistency in state standards which previously varied significantly from state to state. These consistent standards across states presents teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear goals which are aligned with life after high school. The Common Core enables collaboration among states on: development textbooks, digital media, and other teaching resources, having a common assessment system that replaces the range of varied systems that existed allowing the measurement of student performance across states.
Who was involved in the development of the Common Core State Standards?
Across the country, only those in the educational field collaborated to develop the Common Core State Standard. These include collaboration with: teachers, educational researchers, and leading educational experts. The decision to adopt the Common Core Standard was left to the state and local school teachers, principals, and superintendents directed the implementation of the Common Core in their states.
The federal government was not included in the design and development of the Common Core State Standards.
What guidance do the Common Core State Standards provide to teachers?
At each grade level, the Common Core State Standards provide a set of shared goals and expectations and establish what students need to learn, but they do not prescribe how teachers should so that instructions and curriculum can be personalised to the individual needs of the pupils in their classrooms.
How do the Common Core State Standards compare to previous state education standards?
An evidence based approach was taken where: developers took the best state standards in the country; inspecting the standards of high-performing countries around the globe and setting a benchmarking system; and aligning this with findings from academic research literature on what is needed in college, career, and life. Consultation with teachers and parents from across the country, and arriving at a general consensus was vital in producing representative standards for the classroom.
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