What Is the Common Core Standards Initiative?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The Common Core Standards Initiative aims to create a national educational standard for elementary and secondary schools. Read on to learn about Common Core Standards, and to explore resources for educators charged with implementing the intiative.

About the Common Core Standards Initiative

The Common Core Standards Initiative is a state-led drive to standardize educational goals so all U.S. high school graduates are properly prepared for college or careers in the global economy. The initiative was devised by a coalition of governors, state education leaders and researchers who reviewed the standards of individual U.S. states and those of other countries in creating the Common Core Standards.

Common Core Standards in the Classroom

The majority of U.S. states are implementing the standards in their schools. The developers of Common Core Standards emphasize that the standards are not a curriculum but an over-arching, grade-by-grade educational framework. Educators in the participating states, therefore, may devise their own curricula to achieve the standardized objectives. While Common Core standards are designed to be more straightforward than previous state standards, in many states, they also may be more arduous and require educators to overhaul both their teaching methods and their lesson plans.

Common Core Standards: At a Glance

Subject Emphasis
Mathematics A logical, grade-by-grade learning progression of the key fundamental skills, and the practical application of mathematical concepts.
English Language Arts Comprehension and evidence-based interpretation of increasingly complex informational and literary texts from kindergarten through grade 12.

Resources for Teachers offers educators several online resources to help them not only understand Common Core Standards, but also design lesson plans that address these new standards. Common Core Standards by State provides an overview of how individual states are implementing the standards. For examples of courses that provide teachers with supplemental classroom materials, short instructional videos and student assignments, explore: