COMMON CORE FAQs
What are the Common Core State Standards?
The Common Core State Standards, or “Common Core,” are academic learning goals for grades K-12 in math and English language arts. Common Core sets goals or standards that focus on deeper understanding of basic subjects in order to better prepare students for success in college, work, and life. Common Core is part of Washington’s K-12 State Learning Standards and were adopted in 2011.
What’s the difference between the Common Core standards and curriculum?
Common Core is a set of clear learning standards that communicate shared goals and expectations for the knowledge and skills students should have at every grade level. Learning standards are different from curriculum or lesson plans. While the Common Core sets high expectations for what students should know, it does not set a lesson plan or tell teachers how to teach.
A curriculum is made up of teaching and learning materials that teachers use to help construct their day-to-day lesson plans and instruction. With the Common Core, teachers will still create lesson plans and tailor instruction to meet the needs of individual students in their classrooms.
Who developed the Common Core?
The Common Core was created by states, for states. Hundreds of teachers, education researchers, mathematicians, and other experts across the country collaborated in developing the Common Core, with state governors and state schools chiefs both in leading roles since 2009. Hundreds of educators from Washington State provided input to this process.
How will the Common Core improve the quality of our education?
Yes, the Common Core is a set of standards that provides a framework for what students should know at each grade level. How those standards are taught is up to Washington’s 295 school districts and more than 2,000 individual schools. Teachers in each school and district will have the flexibility and control to set the curriculum that best meets the needs of their students.
How does the Common Core support a stronger economy?
2010: OSPI and the State Board of Education review existing learning standards and conduct a cost-benefit analysis of adopting the Common Core.
July 2011: The Common Core State Standards were officially adopted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
2012-2014: OSPI provides toolkits to teachers, districts and administrators to begin implementation. New tests are piloted for math and English language arts.
2013: OSPI, professional educator organizations, and education advocates work together to build public awareness of Common Core.
2013-14 (ongoing): Common Core standards were fully rolled out to every school district to set high expectations for every student in math and English language arts.
2014-15: Common Core standards are fully implemented and new exams in math and English language arts are rolled out to better measure student knowledge and establish a baseline for the future.
Do parents and teachers support the Common Core?
Yes, 68% of Washington parents, teachers and people like you support Common Core (February 2015 poll by Washington STEM), and 76% agree that common learning standards in English and math across the nation will better prepare students college, work and life (May 2014 poll by DHM Research for Partnership for Learning).
Can I talk my to child’s teacher about Common Core?
Yes, talking to your child’s teacher is the best way to stay involved in their education. Talk to the teacher, learn about your child’s learning expectations, and help create a learning plan for them to succeed. Teachers in Washington support the Common Core, are receiving on-going training and are working very hard to implement the more rigorous standards.
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