Common Core Learning Standards
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
The Standards are a Progression
In general, standards set a progression of skills that students learn as they move through school. Kindergarteners work on phonics and letter sounds, while eighth graders work on building vocabulary and reading fluency.
Parent Tip: Look through the common core standards to get a feel for what your child will be learning as he moves through school. Read the English-language arts standards and the math standards at the common core web site.
Students will Delve Deeper into Core Concepts
One complaint about separate state standards was the concern from teachers that students were learning about too many topics in a year to fully understand them, says Carrie Phillip, CCSSO program director of common core standards implementation. The common core state standards, on the other hand, focus on the most important topics that students need to know. In math, that means that students focus on really understanding numbers in elementary school before they start to apply that understanding of numbers to data in middle school.
Parent Tip: As your child completes homework, help them hone in on the most important aspects and core concepts.
The Reading Standards will Get More Difficult
As the common core is implemented, students will be expected to read more difficult text sooner, and discuss what they read at a more complex level. For example, instead of pulling out individual text elements, such as characters, plot, and setting, students will be reading or listening to various stories, and will compare stories using their understanding of text elements.
Parent Tip: As you read with your child, ask her in-depth why and how questions that encourage her to analyze and synthesize texts. For example, read three different versions of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears and ask your child to compare and contrast them as you read. Also, as you build your child’s library, see Appendix B for book ideas.
Focus on Informational Text
To prepare students for college-level work, there will be more of a focus on informational and expository text. In middle school especially, students will be reading informational text, including original documents, from the Declaration of Independence to presidential speeches.
Parent Tip: Encourage your child to research a topic he’s interested in using informational texts and original documents.
For more information about Common Core Learning Standards please visit