Common standards are good for students because:
- They help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers.
- They give students more time to focus on depth of understanding topics being covered.
- Clear standards help students realize what is expected of them and allow them to engage in self-directed learning.
Common standards are good for parents because:
- They help parents understand what students need to know and be able to do at each step in their education.
- They help facilitate conversation between teachers and parents about how to help their children reach those education goals.
- They assure parents that their children have access to the same high-quality education other students receive in other parts of the country.
While most parents think their children are receiving a quality education, the majority of American students are falling behind their international counterparts. By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied in other countries. Even our top math students rank 25th out of 30 when compared with the best students across the globe.
The U.S. is currently ranked 17th among nations in high school graduation and 14th in college graduation. In today’s economy, all students must compete with not only American peers in other states, but with students from around the world. The Common Core State Standards are designed to prepare students to succeed in this environment. The standards are evidence- and research-based, aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and skills, and are informed by other top performing countries. They were developed in consultation with teachers and parents from across the country, so they are also realistic and practical for the classroom.
The new standards focus on core conceptual understandings and processes, thus enabling teachers to take the time needed to teach concepts and processes well and to give students the opportunity to really master them. With students, parents and teachers all on the same page and working together for shared goals, we can help ensure students make progress each year and graduate from school prepared to succeed and build a strong future for themselves and the country.
Common Core will facilitate conversations among parents, teachers, and children about high-level academic learning goals. Because common standards define exactly what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, they will help parents hold their schools accountable for teaching students critical content and skills needed for success.
In an increasingly mobile society, families with children transferring to new schools will not have to adjust to new learning expectations. Standards will be the same for all students in states adopting Common Core, making transitions smoother for students. The standards will provide more clarity about and consistency in what is expected of student learning across the country.