Common Core State Standards

Education standards help to describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject, organized and separated into the grade levels. In California, these standards for kindergarten through high school are decided by the State Board of Education.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed through a state-led initiative to establish consistent and clear education standards for English language arts and mathematics that would better prepare students for success in college, career, and the competitive global economy. The California State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the standards on August 2, 2010, and a number of states across the nation have adopted these standards. This allows students to receive an effective education even if they change schools or move to a different state. Designed by teachers, parents, and education experts, the CCSS will help prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace.

The Common Core focuses on developing critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills needed to be successful. These also provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year and ensure that the students are well on their journey to success.

Find out more about the adoption process in California of the CCSS:

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Learn about the State Standards:

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California Math Framework

The Common Core State Standards have introduced new standards for mathematics. The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that educators at all levels will seek to develop in their students. These rest on concepts with longstanding importance in mathematics education. Firstly, these standards are based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, representation, and connections. Secondly, the standards are based on the standards of mathematical proficiency specified in the National Research Council's report Adding It Up: adaptive reasoning, strategic competence, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and productive disposition.

Download the Mathematics Standards: Appendix A on designing high school courses:

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 Visit the Common Core website:

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Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a state-led association of educators, researchers, state and local policymakers, and community groups working to develop fair and reliable assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11 that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which were adopted by California's Board of Education in 2010.

Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide educators and schools with information and tools to improve instruction methods and help students succeed in college and their careers–regardless of disability, language barriers, or subgroup. This assessment system involves writing at every grade, new question types, and research, writing, and problem-solving skills. The tests provide a realistic baseline for academic achievement in order to be a more accurate indicator of student progress towards college and career readiness, and to help students succeed in today's knowledge-driven global economy.

Visit the Smarter Balanced website:

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