Common Core

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) allow States to share a common

definition of readiness at each grade level by working backward based on the demands
of college and careers. This progression of student readiness is one of the central
principles of the standards. If students are to graduate high school fully prepared, they
must meet the benchmarks set by the Common Core – at every grade and in every
classroom. It is to these benchmarks that we must now teach. It is student mastery of
these benchmarks that we must now assess.

The Common Core demands significant shifts (http://engageny.org/resource/commoncore-
shifts) in the way we teach. Each teacher must adopt these shifts so that students
remain on track toward success in college and careers. These shifts in instruction will
require that many teachers learn new skills and reflect upon and evolve in their
classroom practices. For example, ELA teachers must ensure a balance of literature
and informational text and a dramatic increase in the amount of time and attention
students spend in evidence-based analysis of what they are reading. In math, teachers
must spend more time on less content, driving toward true mastery through a new level
of fluency with math facts as well as a new comfort with real world application.