The Common Core State Standards that schools throughout the county and nation are working to implement are the result of years of work by a wide variety of educators and policy-makers.
In response to reports that students in other countries outperform those in the United State and that too many high school graduates didn't have the skills needed to enter the workforce or higher education, several groups got together in 2009 to develop these new educational guidelines, known as the Common Core State Standards.
The work was led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the groups that represent the nation's governors and state education leaders.
California and 44 other states have voluntarily adopted the new standards.
"These standards are a strong step forward from the standards that we've been working with since 1997," said Scott Sypkens, senior director of curriculum and instruction at the San Diego County Office of Education.
States' governors and top school officials worked with school leaders throughout the country to compare educational practices in the various states as well as across the globe to learn the most effective ways to prepare students for higher education and a competitive global economy. The Common Core State Standards initiative continues to be a state-led effort.
Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards. The feedback and the review process was integral in shaping the new standards, and included educators from kindergarten through grade 12, postsecondary faculty, curriculum and assessment experts, researchers, national organizations, and community groups.
Scholarly research, surveys, assessment data and comparisons with other nation's standards were also important in crafting the new standards.
Support for the standards comes from a diverse cross section of the country, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Parent-Teacher Association.