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The Goal of Common Core Standards

The Common Core Standards address the shortcomings and build upon the strengths of current state standards. Governors, education officials, and educators who developed the Common Core Standards had several goals in mind, including the following:

  • Raise the bar for students in grades K-12. Higher academic standards represent higher expectations for student learning. Higher rigor and demand in classrooms increase the likelihood that more students will master essential skills and concepts in math, reading, and writing that will prepare them for success when they move to the next grade or course or on to college or a career.

  • Clarify expectations for students, teachers, and parents. Inconsistent, complicated standards are difficult for everyone to understand and follow, from school administrators and teachers to parents and students. Common Core Standards are intended to be consistent and clear, so everyone involved in the learning process can collaborate on meeting expectations.

    As you find out more about Common Core Standards, you’re likely to hear the phrase “fewer, clearer, and higher” used to describe the first two goals on this list.

  • Standardize benchmarks for academic achievement across all 50 states. Major discrepancies in the expectations of student performance from state to state make it difficult to determine which states are doing the best job of preparing students for college or career. Having the same benchmarks for students across state lines helps ensure that students from different states are being held to similar standards of academic achievement.

  • Ensure that all students are prepared for college or career. One of the fundamental goals of all schools is preparing students to pursue their goals after they graduate from high school, whether they enter college or the workforce. College and career readiness is the outcome of an effective education in kindergarten through Grade 12. This is why higher, more-consistent standards are important at all grade levels.

  • Communicate real-world expectations. Connecting what students are asked to do in school to the demands of the real world is a difficult job, but it’s vital to making sure students understand what’s required of them when they go to college or get a job. The skills and concepts taught in schools need to be the same skills and concepts students use in higher learning or the job market.

Without high academic standards that outline the knowledge and skills students need in math, English, and reading and writing in other subjects, few students are ready to tackle college or a career after they graduate from high school.

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