Core Instructional Program » Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

What are common core state standards (CCSS)?

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.
In 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the CCSS to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

Why are common core standards important?

Building on the best of existing state standards, the Common Core State Standards provide clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career, and life. The standards clearly demonstrate what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every parent and teacher can understand and support their learning.
The standards are:
  • Research and evidence based
  • Clear, understandable and consistent
  • Aligned with college and career expectations
  • Based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge thorough higher-order thinking skills
  • Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
  • Informed by other top-performing countries to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society
According to the best available evidence, the mastery of each standard is essential for success in college, career, and life in today's global economy.

How are students assessed with these new standards?

The new common core standards are challenging students to understand subject matter more deeply, think more critically, and apply their learning to the real world. To measure these new state standards, educators from Smarter Balanced states worked together to develop new, high quality assessments in English and math for grades 3-8 and high school. These Smarter Balanced assessments provide more accurate and meaningful information about what students are learning by adapting to each student's ability, giving teachers and parent better information to hep students succeed in school and after.
Smarter Balanced is...
  • A better assessment system - teachers can access resources online and provide interim assessments.
  • A computerized assessment - the test is computer adaptive and questions get harder when students answer correctly and easier when they answer incorrectly, allowing students to better demonstrate what they know.
  • Designed for all students - there are supports that make the test assessable for all learners.
  • Relevant to college and career - the online formate with extended research, writing and problem solving tasks measure the critical thinking and problem-solving skills students need for success.
Attached here​​​​​​​ are the Common Core standards through a spiral view from Kindergarten to 12th grade in English Language Arts and Math.