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Humboldt County Office of Education: Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

What are the Common Core Standards?

The common core standards (CCSS) are intended to provide a practical way to prepare children for success in an ever changing world. They provide the framework for what students in K-12 should know and be able to do in Language Arts and Mathematics.

The below FAQ answers many of the questions people may have about the CCSS. More information can be found in the resources links on the left.

What do the Common Core Standards Mean for our Children?

The new standards are designed to be relevant in the real world and have a focus on supporting 21st Century Skills such as: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, technology integration, effective communication, and collaboration. The CCSS are designed to help ensure that all students graduating from our public schools have the skills and knowledge necessary for success in college and future careers.

How will students be assessed in the Common Core Standards?

Historically, multiple choice tests were used to demonstrate knowledge where value was placed on finding the one “right” answer. The CCSS allows for more project oriented tests and assessments that will require students to use the knowledge they have gained to demonstrate their learning and potentially allow for more than one “right” answer. California is participating in the development of the Smarter Balanced Assessments which will be performance tests requiring students to apply knowledge to solve problems in both Language Arts and Mathematics.

Why do we need the Common Core Standards?

We need to make sure that all students attending our public schools are prepared for college and the workforce. The CCSS ensured that all students will receive a high quality education regardless of what school they attend or what state they live in. The CCSS will provide greater opportunity for teachers, schools, and districts to share Best Practices and resources. The new standards place more importance on deep understanding and the ability to apply that understanding to solve problems. The CCSS mirror the standards of other nations whose students have experienced great educational success and will help them to successfully participate in the global economy.

How will the Common Core Standards Shift Teaching and Learning in California?

The CCSS are a tool to help teachers prepare the best lessons and activities as well as help parents and students to understand the expectations for success in each grade level. Although teachers will continue to devise lesson plans that are tailored to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms, instruction will begin to shift in both Language Arts and Mathematics with students probing more deeply into subject matter, engaging their critical thinking skills, and applying their knowledge to real world situations and problem solving. Educators will receive training and support along with guidance in the development of high quality curriculum units.

What can I do to Support the CCSS?

Parents should talk with their child’s teacher about the new standards and what is expected at each grade level. Providing opportunities at home for students to practice their critical thinking and problem skills is always valuable.

Business and community leaders can follow the state and local implementation processes as the work unfold, utilize available web resources, and meet with local educational administrators about forming partnerships to support students being better prepared for the workforce.

Educators are encouraged to participate in regional professional development opportunities centered on unit and lesson planning, the 4 C’s of: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication, as well as engage in meaningful school, district, and regional professional learning community opportunities.

Where can I Learn More about the CCSS?

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 California has been involved from the beginning.

Video – About the Common Core State Standards



Additional Resources

Parent guides describing the focus of Common Core learning in Language Arts and Math for each grade level from Kindergarten through High School.

Source: National PTA

Myths vs. Facts

Source: National Governors Association Common Core State Standards Initiative Website

More Information

More information about the Common Core State Standards is available on the California Department of Education website http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc/.

Educational Services

Colby Smart, Ed.D.
Asst. Superintendent, Educational Services

Instructional Leadership

Lori Breyer
Coordinator, School Support & Accountability
Jennifer Fairbanks
Coordinator, Instructional Leadership; LCAP

General Inquiries

Taylar Opp
Senior Account Technician