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Common Core Standards Overview

Common Core State Standards Introduction Handout

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For decades, we’ve been debating how to improve schools in the United States. This has been born from a realization that, in an ever-changing world, our students need better knowledge and tools to prepare them to compete in the global economy.

In math, science, and reading, our students haven’t been keeping pace with their most advanced international peers. Persistent and dramatic achievement gaps still exist in our country. College remediation rates are abysmal. And, employers say students are unprepared to perform and thrive in the workforce.

The need to audaciously confront these issues resulted in a remarkable collaborative effort—the promise of consistent, shared, and rigorous education standards for all students that align with college and work expectations –a new set of ambitious academic standards to set the foundation for even greater student growth and success.

These standards, now being implemented by more than forty-four states across the nation, were built upon strengths and lessons learned in states. They were informed by other top performing countries, and grounded in research and evidence.

And, practitioners, content experts, teachers, researchers, and leaders in higher education and business all came together to make it happen.

These new Standards were developed by states and for states. They are the clearest statements yet about the knowledge and skills that students need to master in order to be prepared for college and the workforce.

The Standards were designed with great care to ensure that they were clear, consistent, rigorous, and relevant. All are undeniably important when it comes to preparing students to successfully meet the demands of college and the workplace.

Thanks to the unprecedented collaboration among states, young people—regardless of their background or where they live—will be taught to standards that once mastered, will have prepared them for college and career success.

Take a glimpse into the promise of these standards as states do the hard work of implementing them with fidelity and care. Use what you hear to start engaging conversations, stimulate creativity in the classroom, help align expectations, and get communities involved. Find out why state standards are far from “common.”