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Common Core and Essential Standards

over 3 years ago

What is Common core?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia committed to developing a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12.

The point of the state-led effort to create common academic standards is simple: improving teaching and learning to ensure that high school graduates in every part of the nation have the knowledge and skills they need for college or a career. The process is designed to produce standards that are research and evidence-based as well as internationally benchmarked. If students meet these new rigorous and clear standards, they will have better choices in their lives and the nation will be more competitive in today's global economy. These sets of standards define the knowledge and skills students should have to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic college courses and in workforce training programs.


Click the image to the right to provide parents with "roadmaps" or clear explanations about the new standards in K-8 English and Math classes. It provides guidance on what children will be learning and how parents can support that learning. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide  three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.  It's good stuff worth checking out!

Frequently Asked Questions

over 3 years ago

North Carolina Essential Standards
The NCES apply only to North Carolina, and they are for the areas of Science, Social Studies, Information & Technology Skills, the Arts, Healthful Living, World Languages, and the Occupational Course of Study. For all practical purposes you can think of the Common Core Standards as appyling to Math and English Language Arts (which includes writing) while the NCES applies to all other subject areas (there are some subject areas, such as guidance, which have yet to be approved, but for all practical purposes you can consider the NCES as “all other subjects”).