Building on the best of existing state standards, the Common Core State Standards provide clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career, and life. The standards clearly demonstrate what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every parent and teacher can understand and support their learning.
The standards are:
- Research and evidence based
- Clear, understandable, and consistent
- Aligned with college and career expectations
- Based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
- Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
- Informed by other top-performing countries to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society
According to the best available evidence, the mastery of each standard is essential for success in college, career, and life in today’s global economy.
With students, parents, and teachers all on the same page and working together toward shared goals, we can ensure that students make progress each year and graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college, career, and life.
The standards focus on core concepts and procedures starting in the early grades, which gives teachers the time needed to teach them and gives students the time needed to master them.
The standards draw on the most important international models, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including educators from kindergarten through college, state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, parents and students, and members of the public.
Because their design and content have been refined through successive drafts and numerous rounds of state feedback, the standards represent a synthesis of the best elements of standards-related work in all states and other countries to date.
For grades K-8, grade-by-grade standards exist in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. For grades 9-12, the standards are grouped into grade bands of 9-10 grade standards and 11-12 grade standards.
While the standards set grade-specific goals, they do not define how the standards should be taught or which materials should be used to support students. States and districts recognize that there will need to be a range of supports in place to ensure that all students, including those with special needs and English language learners, can master the standards. It is up to the states to define the full range of supports appropriate for these students.
No set of grade-specific standards can fully reflect the great variety of abilities, needs, learning rates, and achievement levels of students in any given classroom. Importantly, the standards provide clear signposts along the way to the goal of college and career readiness for all students.