A lot of people are talking about how the Common Core State
Standards are going to help our schools better prepare students for college and
career, but some may be wondering what that really means.
For college, it means that by the time they graduate,
students have the skills and knowledge they need to do well in entry-level
courses at a two- or four-year college. Under the previous standards, results have
shown that many students are showing up to college without the basic skills
needed to succeed in classes without first taking refresher courses.
For the workplace, it means that graduates have the reading
and mathematics knowledge and skills they need to qualify for job training and the
expectations of the workforce.
Over the past several years the school districts across the
county have trained teachers and administrators, developed curriculum, revised
assessments, and upgraded technology to prepare for fully implementing the new
“Now they will be
expected to independently handle the reading of multiple texts and use critical
thinking skills to synthesize information they’ve read as well as appropriately
include their own thoughts and then write to communicate their ideas clearly,”
said Kira Shearer, English language arts coordinator with the San Diego County
Office of Education.
The new standards were adopted in 2010 and are gradually
being implemented in most schools. They were designed to prepare students not
only for the jobs of today but for ones that haven’t even been created yet. The
goal is to encourage students to use their newly learned skills couple with
creativity and innovation.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led
effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for
kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that 45
states, including California, have voluntarily adopted.
They were created with the end goal of better preparing
students for college and career. The expectations in each grade were designed
to progressively build to that goal.