Common Core Standards
Dr. Debra Harwell-Braun
History of CCSS
Two organizations spearheaded this broad education reform effort
which unveiled standards for two content areas: Mathematics and
English Language Arts (ELA)
1. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
2. The National Governors Association (NGA)
In July 2009, work groups and feedback groups composed of
representatives from higher education, K–12 education, and the
research community began work on standards in Mathematics and
ELA. A draft of the College and Career Ready Standards were released.
History of CCSS
Feedback was solicited from a wide range of stakeholders, including
educators, administrators, community and parent organizations,
higher education representatives, the business community,
researchers, civil rights groups, and states.
November 2009- the first draft of CCSS grade-level standards was
released to states and feedback was obtained.
March 10, 2010, the first public draft of Common Core State Standards
was released. Public feedback was collected through April 2, 2010.
The states were given two more opportunities to provide feedback
before the final standards were released.
History of CCSS
States received the final release on June 1, 2010, one
day prior to the public release of the final CCSS.
On June 2, 2010, the final version of the CCSS was
released to the public.
Some districts began implementation for K-2 students
during the current school year
The Common Core State Standards represent a body of work that is:
thoughtfully and logically organized
comprehensive in scope
vertically aligned standards with increasing rigor from grade to grade
well communicated to a wide audience
Of special significance are two sections in both the English language
arts and mathematics documents that specifically address the need
for English Language Learners and students with disabilities to
receive equal access to these standards.
College and career readiness for ALL students
Excellent for mobile population
Consistency of standards—preferable to 50 different state versions of
Capacity for sharing resources within and across states
Textbook publishers creating common sets of instruction and assessment
resources for all states, not just the largest ones
Allows states/districts/schools to connect CCSS to their own areas of focus:
Response to Intervention, English Language Learners, cultural responsiveness,
social justice, district/school themes, etc.
Explicit horizontal and vertical “learning progressions” (Popham, 2007)
Emphasis on interdisciplinary literacy
This rapid adoption of the CCSS by so many states represents a historic shift
away from the nation’s tradition of state-determined standards.This will
dramatically impact how:
Veteran educators transition from state standards to more rigorous
Pre-service and new educators are trained and certified
Professional development changes to increase educators’ content area
Extensive standards-based work accomplished over years can be merged
States will guide and direct districts to implement the CCSS within a timeline
Funding for the transition to CCSS to occur, especially without Race to the
Another significant challenge is assessment. Even though
assessment development consortia are working to create national
assessments aligned to the CCSS, states that adopt the new
standards will have to continue administering their existing state
assessments until the 2014/15 school year.
Current state assessments will not align as closely with the
national standards as do their current state standards.This will likely
cause educators anxiety about a possible decline in students’ test
results if their instruction and assessment focus shifts away from the
state standards to the CCSS.
However, the CCSS are more rigorous than most states’ current
standards. By focusing on these “higher” standards, student
performance on current state assessments may improve.
Prioritization of the Standards
Prioritization of the CCSS is very much needed. Douglas B. Reeves,
founder of the Leadership and Learning Center, writes:
“The quantity of standards that teachers have to cope with in the
Common Core remains too high—Mike Schmoker, in his book Focus,
estimates that schools using the Common Core Standards will only be
able to effective teach half of them.
Some districts have prioritized the previous NCSCOS objectives as:
Essential, Important, Nice to Know and Maintained
College and Career Readiness Standards
for Reading (Handout A and B)
The K-12 standards define what students should know and be
able to do by the end of each grade.
They correspond to the CCR anchor standards by number.
Handout B Reading Literature Anchor Standard 3 (Analyze
how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and
interact over the course of a text)
Under the anchor standard are grade specific standards
Organization of the K-12 English Language Arts
The English language arts core standards are organized by individual
grades in kindergarten-8 and by grade bands for grades 9–10 and
Classified according to the familiar language arts strands of:
reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language development
Each strand presents College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor
standards (broad statements) along with grade-specific standards
that together define the knowledge and skills that students must know
and be able to demonstrate by the end of each grade.
The reading standards that pertain to Reading Foundations is K-5.
The College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards, which anchor
the standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social
Studies, Science, andTechnical Subjects, define general, cross-
disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students to
be prepared and ready to succeed upon entering college and
workforce training programs.
Each broad CCR anchor standard has an accompanying grade-
specific standard, which provides grade-appropriate end-of-year
CCR expectation- students entering college will not need any
remediation in reading, writing, speaking or mathematics
CCR Anchor Standards
Reading (handout A)
Key Idea and Details
Craft and Structure
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Range of Reading and Level ofText Complexity
Writing (handout C)
TextTypes and Purposes
Production and Distribution ofWriting
Research to Build and Present Knowledge (ethical information gathering)
Range ofWriting (discarding the 5 paragraph straight jacket)
CCR Anchor Standards
Speaking and Listening (handout E)
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Language (handout G)
Conventions of Standard English
Knowledge of Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Coding of the Strands by K-5 and 6-12-Reading
RL—Reading Standards for Literature
RI—Reading Standards for InformationalText
RF—Foundational Skills Standards (Grades K-5)
SL—Speaking and Listening Standards
RH—Reading for Literacy in History/Social Studies
RST—Reading for Literacy in Science andTechnical Subjects
WHST—Writing for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, andTechnical Subjects
Open the envelop with the standards
Place the standards for Reading InformationText, Anchor
Standard 1 in order k-12 on the spiral map frame
Check your work against the answer sheet
Reading Foundations (Handout B1)
There are four categories: (standards 1−4)
Print concepts (K−1)
Phonological awareness (K−1)
Phonics and word recognition (K−5)
The Reading Foundational skills allow for
targeted differentiated instruction. It provides
the building blocks of learning to read.
Text Complexity-Data Driven (Handout I)
Qualitative dimensions of text complexity, such as levels of meaning, structure,
language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands. Lexile codes provide
more information about a book's characteristics, such as its developmental
appropriateness, reading difficulty, and common or intended usage.
Quantitative measures of text complexity, such as word frequency and sentence
length, which are typically measured by computer software. The Lexile Analyzer
measures text demand based on these two widely adopted variables. (AIMS web
Reader and task considerations, such as students' knowledge, motivation and
interests.The free “Find a book” search helps readers build custom book lists based on
their ability (Lexile measure) as well as personal interests or school assignments.
Text Complexity (handout L)
Complex texts are a cornerstone of the Common Core Standards for
They even have their own section-Reading StandardTen (handout L)
Why U.S. Students Stumble on ComplexTexts
Research shows that texts students read in in grades K-12 became
easier after 1962
Scaffolding of Instruction is more prevalent in K-12 compared to college
High school students are rarely held accountable for independent
College reading is mostly expository, but K-12 reading is mostly
narrative, which is easier to comprehend.
Students read a true balance of informational and literary
texts. Elementary school classrooms are, therefore, places
where students access the world – science, social studies,
the arts and literature – through text. At least 50% of what
students read is informational.
Shift 2 6-12,
Content area teachers outside of the ELA classroom
emphasize literacy experiences in their planning and
instruction. Students learn through domain-specific texts
in science and social studies classrooms – rather than
referring to the text, they are expected to learn from what
Shift 3 Staircase of
In order to prepare students for the complexity of college
and career ready texts, each grade level requires a “step”
of growth on the “staircase”. Students read the central,
grade appropriate text around which instruction is
centered. Teachers are patient, create more time and pace
in the curriculum for this close and careful reading, and
provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding and
supports so that it is possible for students reading below
Students have rich and rigorous conversations which are
dependent on a common text. Teachers insist that
classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text
on the page and that students develop habits for making
evidentiary arguments both in conversation, as well as in
writing to assess comprehension of a text.
Shift 5 Writing from
Writing needs to emphasize use of evidence to inform or
make an argument rather than the personal narrative and
other forms of decontextualized prompts. While the
narrative still has an important role, students develop
skills through written arguments that respond to the
ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts
Shift 6 Academic
Students constantly build the vocabulary they need to
access grade level complex texts. By focusing
strategically on comprehension of pivotal and commonly
found words (such as “discourse,” “generation,” “theory,”
and “principled”) and less on esoteric literary terms (such
as onomatopoeia” or “homonym”), teachers constantly
build students’ ability to access more complex texts across
the content areas.
Next GenerationAssessment NGA
Optional Early and Mid-Year Formative Assessments (Components 1 and 2) can
be administered at any point prior to Component 3, as locally determined.
• Component 1:These early formative assessments in ELA and mathematics
will be designed to provide an indicator of student knowledge and skills so that
instruction, supports, and professional development can be tailored to address
student needs. For students who did not meet the prior grade-level standards, it
may be possible to also provide an indication of whether progress has been
made or those standards have been met.
• Component 2: These mid-year formative assessments will be composed
primarily of rich performance tasks and designed to provide instructionally
useful feedback to teachers and students.The tasks will preview the types of
tasks to be completed in Component 3.
• Performance-BasedAssessments(Component 3):These assessments will
be given primarily on computers or other digital devices and utilize a mix
of human and computer scoring. Multiple types of items will be used,
including computer-enhanced items and performance tasks, and emphasis
will be placed in this component on the hard-to-measure standards.
Each assessment may require several sessions/class periods. Results are
expected to be reported within two weeks of completion.
For ELA/literacy, these tasks will focus on writing effectively when
analyzing text and using evidence drawn from the texts to support their
claims. Students may be required to conduct electronic searches (within a
predefined set of digital sources), evaluate the quality of the sources, and
compose an essay or research paper using evidence from them. At each
grade level, the sources will represent a range of reading/text complexity
levels to enable students at higher and lower ranges of performance to
demonstrate their skills.
End-of-Year (EOY) Comprehensive Assessment (Component 4):The
EOY assessments in ELA/literacy and mathematics will sample all of
the standards for the grade level.
These assessments will be taken online during the last few weeks of
the school year, utilize a range of innovative items types and
technological tools, and be entirely computer scored.
The ELA/literacy assessment will focus on reading and
comprehending complex texts, including vocabulary and editing for
grammar, usage, and language conventions.
To assess the speaking and listening standards within the
CCSS, an assessment will be required but not used in the
determination of the summative score (Component 5).
This component may be administered at any time between
Components 2 and 4.Teachers will score the student’s
speaking and listening skills using a standardized rubric and
may use the scores within the determination of student grades.
CCSS Roll Out
Development and approval by
member states of common
policies and procedures
Item and task development,
piloting of components
Release of Model Content
Frameworks, as well as prototype
items and tasks
Development of professional
development resources and online
2012–2014 Field testing
2014–2015 New summative assessments in use
Summer 2015 Setting of achievement standards
Overview of ELA/ Common CoreVideo/