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Common Core 101

Parents with school-aged children have surely heard of the Common Core but may not know what it entails. This article explains more.
Published: July 14, 2020

You may have heard about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) but do you know what they mean for your child’s education?

The CCSS were developed by a range of education stakeholders: educators, education experts, business leaders and parents like you. They outline consistent academic benchmarks that identify what your child should know at each grade level in math and language arts, and emphasize building critical thinking and analysis skills. The standards put stepping stones in place so that your child is less likely to fall behind and be unprepared for what’s next. For example, when students master the art of addition, they can move on to master the art of multiplication, putting them on a path to master the math knowledge they need after high school graduation and in their future careers.

It’s important to reassure your student as he or she learns in classrooms that use the new common core standards, and actively participate in their learning outside of school.

Parents and educators form pillars of support at each stop on the K-12 academic journey, helping children thrive along the way. And, since the standards are the same across the 46 states that have adopted the CCSS, students are more likely to have an equal shot to understand the concepts, skills and ideas needed to progress, regardless of their zip code.

When we ensure that all students have the same opportunity to grow, we set them up for bright futures and inspire them to achieve their dreams through a love of learning. To learn more about how the CCSS works and how the standards are being implemented, use resources like your state education department’s website.

It’s important to reassure your student as they learn in classrooms that use the new common core standards, and actively participate in their learning outside of school. By working together with your child’s teacher, you can help your student be successful!


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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.