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A Guide to the Common Core State Standards

Amy Lawson, fifth-grade teacher

SOURCE: AP/Steve Ruark

Amy Lawson, a fifth-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Delaware, teaches an English language arts lesson Tuesday, October 1, 2013. The school has begun implementing the national Common Core State Standards for academics.

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National fact sheet: What is the Common Core?

Assessments fact sheet: Better, Fewer, and Fairer Tests: The Promise of the Common Core Assessments

Across the country, too many of today’s high school graduates are not ready for college or the workforce. That’s why educators nationwide teamed up with the National Governors Association to develop the Common Core State Standards in an effort to better prepare our students in the math and reading skills they need for future success in both college and careers. Since 2010, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted these achievement standards to help raise the bar for student achievement nationwide.

In recent weeks, a contentious debate has erupted in many states over the role of these Common Core standards and their ongoing implementation. While this discussion has received significant public attention, many of the arguments offered by critics are misleading, off-base, or simply inaccurate.

To help better frame this conversation, the Center for American Progress has compiled a series of 14 fact sheets on states implementing the Common Core. The series documents the current state of student achievement, demonstrates the imperative on why higher standards are important, and offers a side-by-side comparison on how the Common Core State Standards will raise student achievement.

Fact sheets by state

These fact sheets were updated on April 14, 2014.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi (immigration, race and ethnicity)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org