Common Core and Essential Standards

Two terms related to curriculum – common core and essential standards are widely being discussed throughout our school system.

Significant time and effort is being dedicated to provide professional training to classroom teachers and support staff. Just what do these terms represent?

On June 2, 2010 the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices joined the Council of Chief State School Officers to distribute the finalized version of a Common Core of State Standards. These national standards represent the skills and knowledge students need to obtain to be prepared for success at the freshman level of college academics as well as entry workforce training. The overall intent is to align curriculum, instruction, teacher preparation, professional development, and assessment with standards for subject content and student performance. Forty-eight states, including North Carolina, officially committed to adopt these common standards throughout their K-12 curriculum. Subsequently, the comprehensive education initiative promoted by Governor Perdue - Career and College: Ready, Set, Go! strongly aligns with common core and essential standard reform.

Language arts and mathematics represent the initial subject areas that will be transitioned into common core and essential standards. Work is already underway at the Dept. of Public Instruction to introduce in the near future similar standards across additional areas of curriculum.