Common Core State Standards
Key Facts for Parents and Community Members
- The Common Core State Standards are expectations for student outcomes in the core subjects of math and English. They are clear, consistent, understandable and rigorous.
- The Common Core State Standards are not curriculum. Curriculum decisions, like which textbooks to purchase and which books students should read, will continue to be made locally.
- The standards focus on the real-world skills and critical thinking that will prepare students for college and careers
- The effort to create The Common Core State Standards was a state-led initiative, and Oregon has been involved from the beginning.
The Common Core State Standards – Myth vs. Fact
Myth: The Common Core is the first step toward nationalizing education.
Fact: The Common Core State Standards are part of a state-led effort to give all students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. The federal government did not develop the standards. Individual states choose whether or not to adopt these standards.
Myth: With the Common Core, students will no longer be reading works by Mark Twain or The Great Gatsby.
Fact: With the Common Core State Standards teachers will continue to teach literary classics, as they always have. The Common Core places a greater emphasis on informational text (like the Gettysburg Address, for example), as research shows that students are currently reading little informational text in school. In addition, the bulk of the reading students will do in the workplace and in education beyond high school is likely informational and non-fiction texts.
Myth: The Common Core is a “threat to academic freedom.”
Fact: The Common Core gives teachers more freedom than they have had in the past. With fewer standards to teach in each subject, teachers can now spend more class time devoted to making sure every student understands the material.
Myth: The Common Core is a “dumbing down” of Oregon’s standards.
Fact: The Common Core State Standards are more rigorous than Oregon’s old standards, focusing on more critical thinking and problem solving skills. Because of this, it is expected that Oregon’s students may, at least at first, have lower test scores since the bar is being raised in the classroom.
Preparing Students to be Successful in the Workforce
The Common Core State Standards are more rigorous than old standards, focusing on more critical thinking and problem solving, which are the real world skills that students need to be successful in education beyond high school and in the workforce.
Skills students will master with the Common Core State Standards:
• Think critically, reason, and make informed decisions
Today’s manufacturing jobs, for example, go far beyond the simple production
tasks of the past. Employees must be able to modify and adjust to rapidly changing demands.
• Communicate verbally and in written form
Graduates will be able to write technical and informative reports, as well as present key ideas in front of a broad audience.
• Learn , develop, and apply new skill sets
The principle behind the Common Core State Standards is not to graduate a student who is job ready in every sector; it’s to graduate a student who is equipped to easily acquire the necessary skills for any job.
• Reason through the “why” of a process and not just the “how”
In most businesses, the process is as important as the product. Future employees will be able to think through the process of a product.
• Solve problems through reasoning skills
Future employees will be able to deduce solutions for problems ranging from the assembly line to the corporate sales office.