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Top 10 Common Core Facts

  1. Why do we need new standards? Not every student in the United States has access to a great public
    school. Not every school is offering its students the rigorous coursework necessary to transition smoothly
    to postsecondary educational options without remediation. Graduation rates are improving
    incrementally, but it is clear that gaps that fall along ethnic and racial lines still persist and that the
    enduring dropout rates cannot persist if this country is going to be globally competitive in the future.
  2. Who? States developed the common core state standards (CCSS) together and most voluntarily adopted
    them. To date, 44 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSSS.
  3. What’s covered? Mathematics and English language arts and Literacy (ELA).
  4. When? States that chose to adopt the standards began implementing the mathematics and ELA common
    core standards in the 2013-14 school year.
  5. What’s different about these standards? They are designed to be fewer in number, clearer, encompass
    broad academic goals, and to prepare students for a variety of postsecondary experiences. The CCSS also
    are more challenging than most of the current state standards and provide clarity and consistency about
    what is expected of students.
  6. Will there be new tests? Yes, states that chose to adopt the standards must use related mathematics and
    ELA assessments by the 2014-2015 school year.
  7. Will these tests be different? Yes, ‘next generation assessments’ are expected to provide better and more
    timely and useable feedback to students, parents, and educators.
  8. Will these standards tell teachers how to teach? No. Teachers still have flexibility to use professional
    judgment to design instruction for student success.
  9. What about students with disabilities and English language learners? The CCSS provide an historic
    opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content standards for ALL students. For students with
    disabilities and English language learners to meet the standards and fully demonstrate their knowledge
    and skills, their instruction and assessments must incorporate necessary supports and accommodations.
  10. What can parents do to support their children? Become their advocates! Work with your child’s
    teacher to reinforce at-home activities, such as reading more non-fiction and playing math games.
    Immediately contact your school if you need additional resources for your child or if you think your child
    needs additional help. Also, urge your political representatives and policymakers to provide adequate
    resources to schools and communities to ensure that students have the tools and supports required for
    meeting the demands of the standards.