What are the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a state-led effort to establish clear world-class educational standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics.  The internationally benchmarked K–12 CCSS have been adopted by Florida and 44 other states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The CCSS represent a coherent progression of learning expectations designed to prepare K–12 students for college and career success.
The standards define the knowledge and skills students should have in their K–12 education, emphasize learning goals, describe end-of-year expectations, and focus on results, leaving room for teachers to determine how these learning goals should be achieved.

The Common Core State 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 a global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

Source: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/

 

How were the standards developed?

The CCSS effort began in June 2009, through a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association working together with parents, teachers, school administrators, and experts from across the country. National and international research, evidence, and standards—including standards from countries that are often recognized for high-quality education informed development of the CCSS. After public comment, the final version was released in June 2010.

What are the benefits for parents of common standards?

  • A common set of standards ensures that all students, no matter where they live, will be focused on graduating from high school prepared for college and careers. In an increasingly mobile society, families with children transferring to new schools will not have to adjust to new learning expectations. Standards will be the same for all students in states adopting the CCSS, making transitions smoother for students.
  • In a competitive global economy, all students must compete with not only American peers, but with students from around the world. The CCSS were designed to prepare students to succeed in this environment.
  • Common standards will facilitate conversation among parents, teachers, and children about high-level academic learning goals. Because common standards define exactly what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, they will help parents hold their schools accountable for teaching students in ways that support learning of the important content and skills defined by the CCSS.
  • With adoption of the CCSS, states and districts can share methods of assessment, best teaching practices, instructional resources, and approaches to helping parents support and reinforce learning at home.

How will the standards be assessed?
New tests are being developed to assess the CCSS.  Florida and most adopting states have also committed to work together in one of two consortia to develop a shared assessment system for the CCSS.  Florida is a member of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and will be using PARCC assessment system.  PARCC is building an assessment system that will be anchored by college- and career-ready tests in high school, and will include end-of-year assessments in grades 3–8. In addition, the PARCC system—which will be computer based—will include optional formative tests, starting in kindergarten.  PARCC assessments will replace the FCAT (now called FCAT 2.0) in 2014-15.

When will the CCSS be implemented?
Broward, like the rest of Florida, began implementation in to 2011-2012 school year. CCSS. The district has an implementation plan that includes training and support for school and district staff; communicating with the community, parents, and students; and transitioning from existing to new assessment systems.

For more information about the Common Core Standards at Broward County Public Schools, please visit www.definingthecore.com.

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