Common Core State Standards in Missouri

Instructor: A Ray Tatum

A. Ray has taught junior high, high school and college English and has a master's degree in curriculum.

One of the main goals of Missouri's education department is to become a top ten state in terms of student achievement. Learn how Missouri intends to improve education for its students and reach that goal with the Common Core State Standards. You'll also find resources to help students with their ELA and math coursework.

Missouri Learning Standards

Although Missouri uses learning standards to guide instruction in nine subject areas - including social studies, world languages, career and technical education, guidance and counseling, fine arts and physical/health education - only English language arts/literacy and mathematics are covered by the Common Core State Standards. Learning outcomes for these subjects and the assessments used to measure student progress are outlined below.

English Language Arts

Common Core standards emphasize the importance of being ready not only for the employment world, but for the college universe as well. To help students develop the ELA skills needed for success after high school, standards for grades K-12 cover the areas of reading and writing as well as speaking, listening and language.

As students progress from one grade to the next, they'll learn to understand texts used in a variety of disciplines and apply that understanding to challenge an author's reasoning and develop their own ideas. Kids will also have greater confidence in their abilities to judge which tone and type of evidence can be used to influence their audience as they explain, narrate or argue points in an essay or speech. Finally, in this digital age students should know how to use technology to find and utilize the media available to them. In doing so, they should develop a greater appreciation of other cultures and be able to keep an open mind when evaluating other viewpoints.

Social Studies/History Literacy

Common Core standards for literacy in social studies/history develop students' critical-thinking skills and their ability to understand the types of texts used in these disciplines. Upon completion of these courses, students should be able to find a text's central ideas and use factual information to interpret primary sources as well as experts' opinions found in secondary sources.

Students should also recognize how a text's structure is used to present key ideas and events, identify the importance of the language used and evaluate an author's presentation of evidence. Kids should also be able to judge the premises used by experts and compare or contrast the hypotheses set forth in multiple sources. Students will be asked to complete these tasks with material that becomes more complex from grade level to grade level.

Science Literacy

Like the Common Core literacy standards for social studies/history, science literacy standards will focus on developing students' ability to analyze the key details, structure and point of view found in a variety of technical and scientific texts. These standards also require students to conduct experiments based on material presented in writing. Additionally, kids will study key science vocabulary and the symbols used in science so that they are able to follow technical explanations of scientific phenomena. Students also evaluate data presented in a scientific study to determine whether the conclusions are valid.


Common Core math standards for K-12 grade levels are designed to promote students' reasoning and problem-solving abilities so they can not only find a solution to a problem, but also explain how they arrived at it and apply the same mathematical processes to solve a variety of real-world problems.

In kindergarten through 5th grade, public school students learn to demonstrate expertise in counting whole numbers and performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with decimals and fractions. They also begin exploring shape properties and the coordinate plane, so that by the time they reach middle school, kids are able to solve problems involving geometric shapes in addition to those requiring a basic knowledge of algebra.

High school standards cover advanced math to prepare kids for employment or college. Students learn to work with polynomials, functions and mathematical models in courses like algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus and statistics.

Missouri Assessment Program (MAP)

All Missouri students must complete MAP tests aligned with the Common Core standards mentioned above. Students in grades 3-8 will be required to test in language arts and mathematics. End of Course (EOC) assessments began in 2014-15 for high school accountability. Tests aligned with Common Core standards include those for Algebra I and II and English I and II courses.

Common Core Study Resources

Test prep, as well as classroom instruction, can be supported with's Common Core resources. Students, parents and educators will find interesting video lessons on every subject along with quizzes and exams to check understanding.

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