Common Core State Standards Initiative
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K–12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter creditbearing courses at two or fouryear college programs or to enter the workforce.
In the 1990s, the "Standards & Accountability Movement" began in the U.S. as states began writing standards (a) outlining what students were expected to know and to be able to do at each grade level, and (b) implementing assessments designed to measure whether students were meeting the standards. As part of this education reform movement, the nation's governors and corporate leaders founded Achieve, Inc. in 1996 as a bipartisan organization to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability in all 50 states. The initial motivation for the development of the Common Core State Standards was part of the American Diploma Project (ADP).
A 2004 report, titled Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts, found that both employers and colleges are demanding more of high school graduates than in the past. According to Achieve, Inc., "current highschool exit expectations fall well short of employer and college demands." The report explained that the major problem currently facing the American school system is that high school graduates were not provided with the skills and knowledge they needed to succeed in college and careers. "While students and their parents may still believe that the diploma reflects adequate preparation for the intellectual demands of adult life, in reality it falls far short of this commonsense goal." The report said that the diploma itself lost its value because graduates could not compete successfully beyond high school, and that the solution to this problem is a common set of rigorous standards.
In 2009, the NGA convened a group of people to work on developing the standards. This team included David Coleman, William McCallum of the University of Arizona, Phil Daro, and Student Achievement Partners founders Jason Zimba and Susan Pimentel to write standards in the areas of English and language arts. Announced on June 1, 2009, the initiative's stated purpose is to "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." Additionally, "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," which should place American students in a position in which they can compete in a global economy.
Mathematics domains at each grade level
Domain 
Kindergarten 
Grade 1 
Grade 2 
Grade 3 
Grade 4 
Grade 5 
Grade 6 
Grade 7 
Grade 8 
Counting and Cardinality 
X 








Operations and Algebraic Thinking 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 



Number and Operations in Base 10 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 



Measurement and Data 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 



Geometry 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
Number and Operations—Fractions 



X 
X 
X 



Ratios and Proportional Relationships 






X 
X 

The Number System 






X 
X 
X 
Expressions and Equations 






X 
X 
X 
Statistics and Probability 






X 
X 
X 
Functions 








X 
State 
Adoption stance 
Notes 
Alabama 
Formally adopted 
State school board voted to rescind the agreement that commits the state to adoption. However, state standards are still aligned with Common Core State Standards. 
Alaska 
Nonmember 

Arizona 
Formally adopted 
The Arizona State Board of Education voted to reject Common Core on October 26, 2015. The vote was 6–2 in favor of repeal. 
Arkansas 
Formally adopted 

California 
Formally adopted 

Colorado 
Formally adopted 

Connecticut 
Formally adopted 

Delaware 
Formally adopted 

District of Columbia 
Formally adopted 

Florida 
NonMember 
Dropped in favor of "Florida State Standards", which are based on Common Core standards. 
Georgia 
Formally adopted 

Hawaii 
Formally adopted 

Idaho 
Formally adopted 

Illinois 
Formally adopted 

Indiana 
Repealed 
Implementation paused by law for one year in May 2013 and under public review; formally withdrew in March 2014, but retained many of the standards. 
Iowa 
Formally adopted 

Kansas 
Formally adopted 
Defunding legislation passed Senate, narrowly failed in House in July 2013. 
Kentucky 
Formally adopted 

Louisiana 
Formally adopted 
Governor signed executive order to withdraw state from PARCC assessment program. (June 2014). 
Maine 
Formally adopted 

Maryland 
Formally adopted 

Massachusetts 
Formally adopted 
Delayed Common Core testing for two years in November 2013. Ballot question on future of standards in 2016 has been ruled against by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as of August 12, 2016. 
Michigan 
Formally adopted 
Implementation was paused for a time but was approved to continue. 
Minnesota 
Partially Adopted 
English standards only, math standards rejected. 
Mississippi 
Formally adopted 
Withdrew from PARCC testing on January 16, 2015. 
Missouri 
Under review 

Montana 
Formally adopted 

Nebraska 
Nonmember 

Nevada 
Formally adopted 

New Hampshire 
Formally adopted 

New Jersey 
Under review 

New Mexico 
Formally adopted 

New York 
Formally adopted 
Full implementation of assessment delayed until 2022. 
North Carolina 
Under review 

North Dakota 
Formally adopted 

Ohio 
Formally adopted 
There is currently legislation in progress to repeal Common Core from the state. 
Oklahoma 
Repealed 
Legislation restoring state standards signed June 5, 2014. 
Oregon 
Formally adopted 

Pennsylvania 
Formally adopted 
Paused implementation in May 2013. 
Rhode Island 
Formally adopted 

South Carolina 
Repealed 
A bill to repeal the Standards beginning in the 20152016 school year was officially signed by Governor Nikki Haley in June 2014 after deliberation in the state legislature. 
South Dakota 
Formally adopted 

Tennessee 
Under review 

Texas 
Nonmember 

Utah 
Under review 

Vermont 
Formally adopted 

Virginia 
Nonmember 

Washington 
Formally adopted 

West Virginia 
Formally adopted 

Wisconsin 
Formally adopted 

Wyoming 
Formally adopted 

 Reading
 Writing
 Speaking and listening
 Language
 Media and technology
 Attend to precision
 Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
 Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
 1. Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one and twostep word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
 Add and subtract within 20.
 2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two onedigit numbers.
 Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.
 3. Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.
 4. Use addition to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns; write an equation to express the total as a sum of equal addends.

Grade 3:
 Develop an understanding of fractions as numbers.

Grade 4:
 Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.
 Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers.
 Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.

Grade 5:
 Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.
 Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.

In Grade 6, there is no longer a "number and operations—fractions" domain, but students learn to divide fractions by fractions in the number system domain.

Seeing Structure in Expressions (ASSE)
 Interpret the structure of expressions
 Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems

Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Functions (AAPR)
 Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials
 Understand the relationship between zeros and factors of polynomials
 Use polynomial identities to solve problems
 Rewrite rational expressions

Creating Equations.★ (ACED)
 Create equations that describe numbers or relationships

Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (AREI)
 Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning
 Solve equations and inequalities in one variable
 Solve systems of equations
 Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically
 Interpret the structure of expressions
 1. Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context.★
 a. Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
 b. Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity. For example, interpret P(1+r)^{n}as the product of P and a factor not depending on P.
 2. Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it. For example, see x^{4} – y^{4} as (x^{2})^{2} – (y^{2})^{2}, thus recognizing it as a difference of squares that can be factored as (x^{2} – y^{2})(x^{2} + y^{2}).
 a. Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
 b. Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity. For example, interpret P(1+r)^{n}as the product of P and a factor not depending on P.
 As students advance through each grade, there is an increased level of complexity to what students are expected to read and there is also a progressive development of reading comprehension so that students can gain more from what they read.
 Teachers, school districts, and states are expected to decide on the appropriate curriculum, but sample texts are included to help teachers, students, and parents prepare for the year ahead. Molly Walsh of Burlington Free Press notes an appendix (of state standards for reading material) that lists "exemplar texts" from works by noted authors such as Ovid, Voltaire, William Shakespeare, Ivan Turgenev, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, W. B. Yeats, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the more contemporary including Amy Tan, Atul Gawande and Julia Alvarez.
 There is some critical content for all students – classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare – but the rest is left up to the states and the districts.
 The driving force of the writing standards is logical arguments based on claims, solid reasoning, and relevant evidence. The writing also includes opinion writing even within the K–5 standards.
 Short, focused research projects, similar to the kind of projects students will face in their careers, as well as longterm, indepth research is another piece of the writing standards. This is because written analysis and the presentation of significant findings are critical to career and college readiness.
 The standards also include annotated samples of student writing to help determine performance levels in writing arguments, explanatory texts, and narratives across the grades.
 Although reading and writing are the expected components of an English language arts curriculum, standards are written so that students gain, evaluate, and present complex information, ideas, and evidence specifically through listening and speaking.
 There is also an emphasis on academic discussion in oneonone, smallgroup, and wholeclass settings, which can take place as formal presentations as well as informal discussions during student collaboration.
 Vocabulary instruction in the standards takes place through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading so that students can determine word meanings and can expand their use of words and phrases.
 The standards expect students to use formal English in their writing and speaking, but also recognize that colleges and 21stcentury careers will require students to make wise, skilled decisions about how to express themselves through language in a variety of contexts.
 Vocabulary and conventions are their own strand because these skills extend across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
 Since media and technology are intertwined with every student's life and in school in the 21st century, skills related to media use, which includes the analysis and production of various forms of media, are also included in these standards.
 The standards include instruction in keyboarding, but do not mandate the teaching of cursive handwriting. As of late 2013, seven states had elected to maintain teaching of cursive: California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Utah.
 Develop an understanding of fractions as numbers.
 Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.
 Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers.
 Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.
 Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.
 Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.
 Interpret the structure of expressions
 Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems
 Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials
 Understand the relationship between zeros and factors of polynomials
 Use polynomial identities to solve problems
 Rewrite rational expressions
 Create equations that describe numbers or relationships
 Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning
 Solve equations and inequalities in one variable
 Solve systems of equations
 Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically
 The PARCC RttT Assessment Consortium comprises the 19 jurisdictions of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Their approach focuses on computerbased "throughcourse assessments" in each grade together with streamlined endofyear tests. (PARCC refers to "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers" and RttT refers to the Race to the Top.)
 The second consortium, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, comprised 31 states and territories (as of January 2014) focusing on creating "adaptive online exams". Member states include Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
 Hess, Frederick M. and Michael Q. McShane eds. Common Core Meets Education Reform: What It All Means for Politics, Policy, and the Future of Schooling (Teachers College Press; 2013) 232 pages; Essays by academics and policy analysts on integrating Common Core Standards with existing efforts at accountability and other reforms.
 Pattison, Darcy. What is Common Core? (Mims House; 2013) 78 pages; Overview and introduction to the Common Core State Standards.
 Richard P. Phelps and R. James Milgram, The Revenge of K–12: How Common Core and the New SAT Lower College Standards in the U.S., Boston: Pioneer Institute, 2014.
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