Curriculum & Instruction
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) for Parents
To help you better understand Common Core and how it affects your student, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from parents.
- What is the Common Core?
- How different are the Common Core State Standards and the current NC Standard Course of Study?
- Are the Common Core State Standards mandatory for each State?
- Are the Common Core State Standards for each grade level the same or just similar across the States who adopt them?
- Were teachers involved in the creation of the standards?
- What grade levels will be included in the Common Core State Standards?
- Why are the Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Math?
- What is the importance of the Common Core?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to provide a single set of clear standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.
The Common Core State Standards have been described as “fewer, clearer, higher” (CCSS, 2010). Teachers will correlate the Standard Course of Study and the Common Core State Standards to understand the similarities and differences between the two.
States choose whether or not to adopt the Standards. Currently 48 states and U.S. territories have chosen to adopt them.
The Common Core State Standards are the same for each grade level that adopts them. However, a state can add up to 15% above and beyond the Common Core State Standards. North Carolina has not decided to add anything to the Common Core State Standards at this time.
Yes. Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards. The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), among other organizations have been instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards.
The English-language arts and math standards are for grades K-12.
English-Language Arts and Math were the first subjects chosen for the Common Core State Standards because proficiency in these areas impact learning in all content areas. They are also the subjects most frequently assessed for accountability purposes.
Of course, other subject areas are critical to young people’s education and their success in college and careers.
Parents will know what is expected of their children at each grade level. Standards give parents specific information when talking with teachers during the school year. Standards assure parents their children have access to the same high-quality education as other students in other parts of the country. Parents will know that their child is learning skills and knowledge to be successful in the 21st century.