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Common Core

Common Core State Standards

iStock_000057973488Medium.jpgReadying Students for the Future

For California to continue to be a center of innovation and leadership, we need our schools to prepare students who are ready for a complex and unpredictable future. Preparing for the surprises and opportunities ahead requires adding new skills to the traditional curriculum. That includes updating the ways we teach literacy and mathematics.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are an important tool in this effort. They are a focused set of up-to-date learning goals that work step-by-step, at each grade level, to make sure students learn what they need to know in order to become active participants in our communities and workplaces.

CCSS have the potential to drive a sea of change in education in our nation. Adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, the CCSS are research-based frameworks designed to make sure every child graduating high school is prepared for college and career.


Remodeling the “Kitchen” of our Classrooms

All schools should provide children with a rich, rigorous education that develops critical thinking habits, encourages intellectual curiosity, and develops communication skills in multiple languages. How do we do this?

We remodel the “kitchen” of our classroom. We figure out what works and what doesn’t. We ensure that students have all the “ingredients” they need to tackle complex problems. We make sure our teachers are prepared to become “master chefs” who can guide students on how to mix the ingredients of the classroom to solve life’s challenges.

How does CCSS help us remodel our classroom?

  • Teach fewer topics, thoroughly
  • Link topics through grades
  • Encourage mastery, not mystery!
  • Use a richer vocabulary
  • Encourage writing with evidence
  • Guide students to a deeper understanding


Better Understand CCSS

There are many videos that can really help you better understand what CCSS is and what it is not.  Here are two sites with great videos.


What's Cooking With the Common Core in California?

Council of the Great City Schools: The Nation's Voice for Urban Education: Common Core Videos - 2015

The following organizations provide great resources for those learning how California came to embrace the Common Core State Standards, how you can help us spread the word of CCSS, the goals of the new standards, and what students will be learning by grade under the new CCSS.

California Department of Education

The California State PTA: Every Child, One Voice

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Creativity at the Core: See examples of professional learning materials developed by classroom regional teams including Regional Arts Leads from across California and key arts organization partners. These materials for teachers will give you an idea what a student could learn in the arts under the shift to CCSS.

Ensuring We Have an Updated “Measuring Stick”

When we update the way our kids learn information, we will need a new "measuring stick" to ensure they are absorbing this deeper learning.  How will we ensure they are learning the information and acquiring the critical thinking skills they need for a bright future?

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System will help us make sure that we are properly measuring student success in this updated learning environment that will help better prepare students for the 21st century. Learn more:

CAASPP System: California's New Statewide Student Assessment System

CAASPP Communication FAQs About Smarter Balanced Assessments

CAASPP Communications Toolkit: A link to Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment resources