What is Common Core ?(CSS) part 1
Common Core is a buzz word that many may hear from educators. As a parent it is important to know whether the Common Core is important to you and your child? Let’s begin with what Common Core is and what it is not.
The Common Core State Standard (CCSS) is an initiative that began in 2010 by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). It establishes a common standard across the nation of what students should know, and be able to do, in math and reading for grades K-12. Therefore, this requirement of math and reading standards is expected to be the same from state to state. In other words, students across the nation will learn the same thing in math and reading .
The purpose of the Common Core is to make sure that students are ready to enter college and or the workforce. Therefore, it sets the standard for what is taught in the schools and what teachers are expected to teach. Forty Seven states have adopted required standards in both math and reading. Only, three have adopted these standards in either math or reading, but not both.
To be perfectly clear, Common Core is not a curriculum, it is what the curriculum should include. This means that each state or even each school district may have a different curriculum but, each curriculum must include what your child should know in math and reading at every grade level according to and aligned with state required standards. For example, let’s say the state standards requires that every kindergarten student must know and identify all numbers up to 10 by mid year, say December. Accordingly, the curriculum used by any school district must include instruction of all numbers up to 10. To put it another way, a school curriculum must have included instruction of all numbers up to 10 by December .
As a parent familiar with what your child should know at his grade level, this is a plus in the process of choosing a school or school district. Therefore, you want to know that your school district follows the strategic requirements set out in the Common Core. Why? As stated, the objective of Common Core is to prepare your child for college and or the workforce. Consequently, I think it is safe to say that this is also your objective as a parent.
How Does It Help?
Ok, so now you know what Common Core is, and what it is not. Now how does this help you with your child’s education.? At specific grade levels your child will take a state standardized test. Recognize the word standard in that word? Yes, this test will assess how well your child has learned the Common Core Standards. Will this affect my child’s grades?
Read our next article on “What is Common Core? How Does It Affect You?” part 2, where we will discuss the impact Common Core Standards have on you as a parent and your child’s education.
L. Hughes-Page, M.Ed.
L. Hughes Page is a Field Supervisor to student teachers in the Graduate Department of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.