The Common Core State Standards (CCSS)…what are they and what is all the fuss?
The CCSS are a set of K-12 language arts and math standards that were created by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers in an effort to ensure students across the United States were receiving a quality education with equal expectations regardless of which state the student resides. Makes sense! Why should a student in Indiana be held to lower expectations (or higher) than a student who lives in Ohio, California, or Georgia?
You will often hear that the Indiana State Standards are better than the CCSS. The Indiana Standards are good; however, when comparing Indiana to the CCSS, Indiana standards are broader and more content based. The CCSS are fewer and focus more on the application of knowledge and skills. In addition, the overarching emphasis is placed on preparing students for college and career readiness. The CCSS is not new. In fact, they were first introduced in 2009.
The major differences between the Indiana standards and the CCSS is: 1. A shift in literacy which includes increased emphasis on informational text and the addition of literacy standards for all content areas; 2. A shift in math that includes a focus on the most important concepts, a logical sequence of math skills from one grade level to the next, and additional rigor.
The Indiana standards have often been verbalized as a mile wide and an inch deep. The CCSS are fewer in number and allow for more depth and time for true mastery. Indiana standards require more memorization of content vs. the CCSS that focus on application of that content. What is interesting and many don’t realize, the standards debate is not an “either or” situation. If Indiana chooses to move forward with the CCSS, they may still retain some of the Indiana standards.
(Thank you Becca Lamon for your contribution to this post.)