The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) was a joint effort led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers from 48 states to develop a common core of K-12 standards in English language arts and Mathematics. Read more about National PTA's position on Education Standards.
The goal initiative is to develop internationally-benchmarked standards that ensure all students are held to consistent expectations that will prepare them for college and career. These standards ensured that no matter where a child lives, all would have equal access to a high quality education. The standards were informed by the best state standards at that time, feedback from teachers, content experts, the business community, higher education, parents and the public. The final standards were released in June, 2010, giving states the opportunity to update their old standards that were often patchwork set of standards or standards that in some cases were over a decade old.
In the years since their original creation, many states have re-named and updated the standards to fit their specific state needs – adding state-specific learning objectives, and in many cases, raising the bar even further in different content areas. More than 40 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoan Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Anchorage, AK School District currently use these standards in their original form or an updated version.
Academic standards set a goal for what a child should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level, but higher standards cannot stand alone. Quality implementing of the new standards requires aligning new curriculum and assessments, providing professional development for teachers, providing sufficient resources and support for students, ongoing communication with parents and balanced and comprehensive accountability systems. PTA’s College and Career Ready Initiative aims to help parents understand each of these components, and help them advocate for needed changes in their state.