California is one of 49 states throughout the country to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These states realized the need to work collaboratively to develop standards that enable all students to acquire the necessary skills to succeed in today’s global society. These Kindergarten-to-12th grade standards define the educational goals for our students and a new way to ensure those goals are attained.
This is not a new concept - for decades educators and policy makers have debated the importance of articulated, ambitious common standards. In 1959 President Eisenhower discussed the advantages of a national and common understanding of educational goals to help the next generation compete globally!
In August 2010 the California Board of Education began the process of adopting the Common Core State Standards. This came in response to the changing nature of work, technology and competition in the global market and research citing that the United States is one of the few developed countries lacking national educational standards and a consistent level of achievement to determine proficiency. These Common Core Standards are internationally benchmarked and modeled after the most effective practices both in this country and worldwide. According to The Common Core Initiative’s website, the standards
- Are aligned with college and work expectations
- Are clear, understandable and consistent
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills
- Build on strengths and lessons of current state standards
- Are informed by other top-performing countries so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society
- Are evidence based
We have developed a three-year implementation process in Oak Park. Our transition process includes professional development for all staff, the purchase of additional instructional materials and additional training and funding for technology. The State is providing a Common Core Grant to each school district to be used within the next two years for training, materials and technology.
As parents, the best way to prepare your children for the Common Core is to be comfortable yourselves with this new learning opportunity. There are a myriad of online resources to assist in this transition.
Resources specific to Mathematics and Language Arts: www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cc
The National Parent Teacher Association’s Website: http://www.pta.org/parentsguide