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 Preparing Students for College and Career

​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 standards.

 “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.