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Common Core Questions

Q & A Regarding the Common Core State Standards


Q:  WHAT are the Common Core State Standards?

A:  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been developed to provide a consistent, clear  understanding of what students are expected to learn across the country in the content areas of  Mathematics and English Language Arts.  These statements of students’ learning goals were designed to be relevant to the real world in the 21st century, reflecting the core knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.  While building on the standards that had been developed over the years in many states, the CCSS differ from past standards in their focus on rigor, depth of learning, and common expectations for all students.  

Q:  WHO/WHEN created the Common Core State Standards?

A:  The development of the CCSS was a state-­led collaboration sponsored in 2009 by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).   The goal was to establish “common” educational standards, K-­12, for Mathematics and English Language Arts.  The work was accomplished by teams of teachers, educational leaders from various levels, researchers, and professors of education.

Q:  WHERE have the Common Core State Standards been adopted?

A:  The collaboration among states was voluntary with 44 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia participating in the development of CCSS.  Adopting the CCSS in each state was also intended to be voluntary.  The participation in adoption was greatly increased when the US  Department of Education under a newly elected administration made the adoption of CCSS a  prerequisite to additional federal funding (stimulus money) during tough economic times in  ti009 and beyond.  To date, a total of 45 states have adopted the standards.

Q:  WHY has concern been raised about the Common Core State Standards?

A:  Much of the concern raised about Common Core State Standards can be summarized as a concern about who influences and/or controls the development of the standards for student learning.  There has been intense scrutiny of what has been deemed “common” or “core” for student learning across the country.  As a result, many states that have adopted the CCSS are revising them to some degree to meet the needs of their students.  Concern has also been raised over how CCSS will impact the curriculum and instruction.  In the wake of this concern, curriculum experts have emphasized the relationship between standards and curriculum by noting that standards are the outcomes not the curriculum (resources, materials, content, or processes used in an educational program to meet the standards).  The standards serve to focus the learning, but the curriculum adds meaning and context to student learning.

Q:  HOW has Adventist education responded to the Common Core State Standards?

A:  When revising the Mathematics or English Language Arts Standards, NAD curriculum committees have carefully examined the CCSS, along with other resources, to see if there are  any conflicts with Adventist beliefs and values as well as determine whether the standards meet  the needs of Adventist students.  The resulting Adventist standards are then utilized to inform the development or identification of meaningful curriculum for Adventist classrooms.  The Adventist worldview will always serve as the lens through which teaching and learning inspire  our students to grow in wisdom and stature in the Adventist classroom.

For the original site of this information as well as more information about Adventist Education, please refer to and view the "Standards for Student Learning in Adventist Schools."