Common Core State Standards are a shared set of evidence
based national standards developed through state led initiatives. They were designed to have fewer,
simplified standards. These standards will be more rigorous than most states’
current standards. They were created by
the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.
Officials from 48 states participated in the process to develop the standards
over several years. Over 45 states in the US have adopted new core State
The goal of Common Core Standards is to ensure that students
are prepared for college and the workforce.
The new, broader standards emphasize communication, high order thinking, creativity,
technology critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and career
There are five key components to English and Language Arts
standards: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language, and Media and
Technology. The stated goal of mathematics standards is to achieve greater focus
and coherence in the curriculum. Mathematic
standards include a separate focus on mathematical practice and content. Your State Department of Education web site
should provide a specific list the standards adopted by your school district
According to the Common Core State Standards initiative,
formal assessment is expected to take place in the 2014–2015 school year, which
coincides with the projected implementation year for most states. The
assessment is being created by two consortiums with different approaches. The
PARCC RttT Assessment Consortium comprises the states of Arizona, Arkansas,
Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Their approach focuses
on computer-based "through-course assessments" in each grade together
with streamlined end-of-year tests. PARCC refers to "Partnership for
Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers" and RttT refers to the
Race to the Top. The second consortium, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment
Consortium, comprises 31 states focusing on creating "adaptive online
exams". States using Smarter Balance include Alaska, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana,
Nevada, New Hampshire.
Since the new standards were developed in a learning progression from grade to grade, IEP goals should be connected from year to year rather than be sets of unrelated and fragmented skills. The IEP team determines if a student should take State or District Assessments of pupil achievement. If the IEP team feels assessment is not appropriate, the IEP should state the reason that the student cannot participate in the regular assessment as well as the reason why an alternative assessment is appropriate.
Most districts are offering trainings and community forums to parents wishing to further understand the implementation of the new standards. I recommend checking your school district’s web site or contacting them to see what opportunities are being offered to your community.
You can read the specific standards at the Core Standards web site.