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Common Core State Standards. Chris Minnich, Executive Director Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) July 26, 2013. Common Core State Standards. Bipartisan initiative of state leaders led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association (NGA)

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Common core state standards

Common Core State Standards

Chris Minnich, Executive Director

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

July 26, 2013

Common core state standards1
Common Core State Standards

  • Bipartisan initiative of state leaders

    • led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association (NGA)

    • developed K-12 standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics

College and career readiness anchor for the common core
College and Career Readiness: Anchor for the Common Core

  • Gap between high school expectations for students and what students are expected to do in college/career

    • Among high school graduates, only half are academically prepared for postsecondary education (Greene & Winters, 2005).

  • Career-readiness and college-readiness levels are very similar.

  • K-12 standards were back-mapped from college and career expectations.

College remediation and graduation rates
College Remediation and Graduation Rates

  • Remediation rates and costs are staggering

  • As much as 40% of all students entering 4-year colleges need remediation in one or more courses

  • As much as 63% in 2-year colleges

  • Degree attainment rates are disappointing

  • Fewer than 42% of adults aged 25-34 hold college degrees

Source: The College Completion Agenda 2010 Progress Report, The College Board

Common core state standards
How the demand for skills has changedEconomy-wide measures of routine and non-routine task input (US)

Mean task input as percentiles of the 1960 task distribution

The dilemma of schools:

The skills that are easiest to teach and test are also the ones that are easiest to digitise, automate and outsource

(Levy and Murnane)

Common core state standards

College and Career Readiness



  • Key Cognitive Strategies

  • Structure of Knowledge

  • Challenge Level

  • Value

  • Attribution

  • Effort

  • Problem Formulation

  • Research

  • Interpretation

  • Communication

  • Precision & Accuracy

  • Key Content Knowledge

  • Key Learning Skills and Techniques

  • Key Transition Knowledge and Skills



  • Postsecondary Awareness

  • Postsecondary Costs

  • Matriculation

  • Career Awareness

  • Role and Identity

  • Self-advocacy

  • Ownership of Learning

  • Learning Techniques


Source: Dr. David Conley, Educational Policy Improvement Center

New assessments
New Assessments

  • Two state-led assessment consortia

    • Partnership for Readiness for College and Career (PARCC)

    • SMARTER Balanced

  • Federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant of $350M +

  • New summative assessments used for accountability purposes in 2014-2015 school year

What will the new tests be like
What will the new tests be like?

  • Computer-based

  • Beyond multiple choice

  • Measure what matters for college and career success

    • Depth of understanding and higher-order thinking skills

  • Provide precise, actionable information

Parcc grade 7 reading and writing item
PARCC: Grade 7 Reading and Writing Item

Based on the information in the text “Biography of Amelia Earhart,” write an essay that summarizes and explains the challenges Earhart faced throughout her life. Remember to use textual evidence to support your ideas.

Smarter balanced grade 11 writing item
SmarterBalanced: Grade 11 Writing Item

What are the publishers criteria
What are the Publishers’ Criteria?

  • A set of four documents intended to guide the design, evaluation, and selection of new materials or revision of existing materials

    • ELA/Literacy K-2 and 3-11

    • Mathematics K-8 and Mathematics 9-12

  • Available on and training materials available on

  • Released by CCSSO, NGA, Achieve, the Council of Great City Schools and NASBE

Common core state standards

It all boils down to. . .

Texts Worth Reading


Questions Worth Answering!

Some old ways of doing business what s out
Some Old Ways of Doing Business – What’s Out

  • A different topic every day

  • Every topic treated as equally important

  • Elementary students dipping into advanced topics at the expense of mastering fundamentals

  • Endless review

  • Reliance on rote learning at expense of concepts

  • Mnemonics or tricks

Indicators of quality
Indicators of Quality

  • Problems are worth doing

  • Teacher materials support teacher study

  • Use of manipulatives follows best practices

  • Materials are carefully reviewed (freedom from errors, grade-level appropriateness, freedom from bias)

  • Visual design isn’t distracting or chaotic

  • Support for English language learners is thoughtful and helps those learners to meet the same standards as all other students

Questions and comments
Questions and Comments

Chris Minnich, Executive Director

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)