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Implementing the Common Core State Standards successfully means more than replacing one set of curriculum maps or pacing plans with another. The standards are important, not because of the specific topics that have to be covered at one grade level or another, but because of the vertical coherence they provide from grade to grade, the clarity and focus they provide across all grade levels, and the insistence on rigor, critical thinking, and realworld problemsolving that is embedded throughout the standards.
In other words, the standards can help us paint a picture for our students and our communities of what 21st century teaching and learning should look like.
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