Across North Carolina, parents with children in public schools are learning about the newly implemented Common Core State Standards. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that each child in North Carolina should have access to a quality public education that prepares him or her for life, and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards is an important step toward reaching this goal. These English language arts and mathematics standards are anchored in the goal of ensuring all students graduate ready for college and careers, and reflect the knowledge and skills most valued by employers and higher education. For example, the math standards are designed to ensure that students can apply math concepts to real world scenarios. The language arts standards focus in part on preparing students to comprehend informational texts that they will encounter in life and in the work place. Test scores, which were released on November 7th, reflect the increased level of rigor of the Common Core-aligned assessments. Much has been written about changes associated with the implementation of the Common Core, and there is much confusion. Consequently, it is important to have access to accurate information about why the Common Core State Standards were adopted and how they will impact students. The following resources were designed to provide more clarity for parents and community members.
The Council of Chief State School Officers and the Hunt Institute created this series of short videos that provide an overview of the Common Core Standards as well as specific information related to math standards, language arts standards, teachers, administrators, and parents: http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Digital_Resources/Common_Core_Implementation_Video_Series.html. The clips answer the following questions:
- What are Common Core Standards, and why were they developed?
- How will language arts instruction be different?
- How will math instruction be different?
- Did higher education and the business community contribute to the development of the standards?
The Council of Great City Schools created an accessible set of grade-by-grade parent guides on the Common Core, in both English and Spanish: www.cgcs.org/Page/244
As always, parents, teachers, and school leaders need the public’s support as they work to prepare children to succeed in today’s world.