The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K–12 students should know in English language arts and math at the end of each grade. State educators and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core.

Today, 42 states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards. Common Core Standards were developed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.

Common Core is a set of shared goals and expectations for the knowledge and skills students need in English language arts and mathematics at each grade level. The standards establish what students need to learn, but they don’t specifically dictate how teachers should teach. Teachers are expected to devise their own lesson plans and curriculum, and tailor their instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.

The Common Core State Standards have drawn both support and criticism from politicians, analysts, and educators.

To learn more you can review the Common Core Standards themselves on the Common Core website.

Also In Beenke: What’s The Deal With Common Core Standards?