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Common Core Standards


The CCSS initiative is a multiple-state effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and educational experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. The CCSS define the knowledge and skills students should develop during K–12 grades so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.

The CCSS demand a more complex level of reading, thinking, speaking, and writing for all students. The standards set the criteria to ensure that every student is college and career ready. To achieve these levels will require consistent high expectations and focused, engaging instruction with frequent feedback opportunities for students.


The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts are designed to ensure that students are literate in a 21st century world. These standards, called the English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects – extends literacy beyond English Language Arts into other core subjects. Students who master these standards will be able to effectively and critically write, read, speak and listen in a variety of subjects. They will also adeptly use technology to research and communicate information across platforms.

These standards are separated into four strands: reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language.

A Walk Through the Standards…

The literacy standards for grades 6-12 in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects do not replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them.

In August 2010 the State Board of Education adopted the updated English Language Arts standards.

California’s Common Core Content Standards for English Language Arts

Mathematics Common Core State Standards

In August 2010 the State Board of Education adopted the updated mathematics standards. At this time, the California Department of Education is working to establish timelines for implementation. While teachers will continue teaching the standards they know, the following may provide useful information as we begin to prepare for conversion to the newly adopted Common Core State Standards.

California’s Common Core Content Standards for Mathematics

There are two types of Mathematical Standards in the Common Core State Standards:
1. Mathematical Practices – describe a set of skills and processes that all students should develop as part of their study of mathematics

2. Content Standards – the mathematics students are expected to learn
The Mathematical Practices are the same for every grade level and high school conceptual cluster, and are similar to California’s idea of Balanced Mathematics for developing mathematics proficiency in students. In California there are currently three components: Computational and Procedural Skills, Conceptual Understanding and Problem Solving. The Common Core State Standards contains eight Mathematical Practices:

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

…start by explaining to themselves the meaning of the problem and looking for entry points to its solution

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

…make sense of quantities and their relationships to problem situations

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

…understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments

4. Model with mathematics.

…can apply the math they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society and the workplace

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

…consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem

6. Attend to precision.

…calculate accurately and efficiently

7. Look for and make use of structure.

…look closely to discern a pattern or structure

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

…notice if calculations are repeated, and look for both general methods and shortcuts

Unlike Mathematical Practices, the Content Standards differ by grade level (k-8) and by course as students reach algebra one and beyond. Several topics have been shifted across grade levels when compared to the current content standards. See the standards for more details.

In middle school, the Common Core State Standards call for two options for eighth grade students. The goal for eighth graders is to successfully complete Algebra 1. However because not all eighth grade students have the necessary prerequisite skills for Algebra 1, there will be another option. Eighth grade Common Core standards will be provided to students who are not yet ready for algebra, while other students will learn Algebra 1 standards. The standards for kindergarten through seventh grade were augmented to prepare eighth grade students for either set of standards, and both sets of standards are designed to prepare students for college and career readiness.

The high school standards are currently listed as conceptual clusters and will need to be divided into courses by the California Department of Education before implementation.
  • Number and Quantity
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Modeling
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

•High National Standards
•College and Career Readiness
•No more STAR testing----Smarter Balance instead
•3 Things for Parents to Know:

Thinking Deeply: Emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving, student driven instead of teacher directed

Integrated Learning: Learning across disciplines (reading, writing, math, science and social studies)

Showing How They Know: Students will learn how to explain HOW they know something---moving away from worksheets and skill and drill