The Common Core State Standards were released in June 2010 and adopted by the State Board of Education this past July. They were created under the sponsorship of the National Governors Association and the Chief State of School Officers. The focus of the standards is on Language Arts and Mathematics grades K-12. 47 states in the U.S. have agreed to adopt the Common Core Standards.
The standards were developed to raise our Nation’s standards to other educational systems around the world and increase consistency in our expectations from state to state. The new standards focus on higher level thinking, rather than memorization and recall. This is essentially moving learning to the next level of application and synthesis of the content. In the process of developing the Common Core educators discussed what a college or career ready student must know. This process is known as “backwards design,” from this point standards were defined at each level. They can be accessed on the internet at http://www.corestandards.org
Pennsylvania will transition to the Common Core (CC) over a three year period. By 2013 it is expected that the standards will be fully implemented. To facilitate this change the state will have a “cross-walk” to the CC, a document with our current standards linked to the new standards which will enable educators to see how state standards and the CC parallel, yet increase in rigor. Pennsylvania’s Department of Education plans to hold trainings to facilitate the transition. Educators using Standards Aligned Systems (SAS) will also begin to see the move toward the Common Core over the next three years.