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Common Core State Standards

Welcome to SPN’s Resource Page for the Common Core State Standards. On this page you will find information, resources, and links to help your school make the transition from your current state standards to the English Language Arts, Literacy, and math standards that have been adopted by most states. In partnership with the International Center for Leadership in Education, SPN collaborates with schools to help transform teaching and learning in the 21stCentury. We believe the challenge of these more rigorous standards is a unique opportunity to positively transform education in the coming years.



Here are some of the most viewed resources you will find related to the Common Core State Standards on SPN.


Professional Development Center

When you click this icon you will access a search of the SPN site for all resources related to the CCSS. To find a specific type of resource, start by selecting the resource type you want in the PD center and use the search engine on that page.



Research and Publications about the Common Core State Standards

SPN Research collects articles and publications related to the creation and implementation of the Common Core State Standards. By clicking on this icon, you will be taken to the SPN Research Archive with a listing of publications for downloading and viewing.




SPN and the International Center partnered to create a digital tool that helps educators create Next Generation Assessments aligned to the Common Core Standards. Click on the icon to learn more about how it works.



International Center Leadership Media Resources:

SPN members receive a 20% discount on Leadership Media products created by the International Center for Leadership in Education. This resource is especially helpful for schools initiating a focused, transition effort.

Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Assessments 



A Snapshot of the Standards

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is sponsored by governors and state officials and carried out by educators and specialists from across the country. In creating the Common Core State Standards, CCSSI looked at research-based evidence as well as the best standards from their states.



The Standards were developed by the states through the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers with feedback from the public, including teachers, administrators, professors, and publishers.



CCSSI released standards for Grades K–12 in English language arts and mathematics, along with content area literacy standards for Grades 6–12.



Implementation of the Standards is being phased in to prepare for the Next Generation Assessments in 2014.



As of now, all states except Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have adopted the Standards.



The goal is to ensure that students receive the same high-quality education consistently across states to prepare them for success in college and career.



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What are they?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. The standards have been informed by the best available evidence and the highest state standards across the country and globe and designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators, so they reflect both our aspirations for our children and the realities of the classroom. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that our students are competitive in the emerging global marketplace. Source:


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Why are they important?

We want to make sure that every child across the country is given the tools they need to succeed. High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations that everyone can work toward together. This will ensure that we maintain America’s competitive edge, so that all of our students are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with not only their peers here at home, but with students from around the world.

These standards are a common sense first step toward ensuring our children are getting the best possible education no matter where they live.

Of course, standards cannot single-handedly improve the quality of our nation’s education system, but they do give educators shared goals and expectations for their students. For example, the common core state standards will enable participating states to work together to:

  • Make expectations for students clear to parents, teachers, and the general public;
  • Encourage the development of textbooks, digital media, and other teaching materials aligned to the standards;
  • Develop and implement comprehensive assessment systems to measure student performance against the common core state standards that will replace the existing testing systems that too often are inconsistent, burdensome and confusing; and
  • Evaluate policy changes needed to help students and educators meet the standards.


A great resource for current efforts to build assessments can be found at Education Northwest.



Where states stand on the CCSS

A new report from Education First and the EPE Research Center looks at the readiness of states to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As the Common Core movement has matured, attention has shifted toward practical implementation and issues such as readiness of teachers to enact the standards in the classroom. The study gives the status of state plans in teacher professional development, curriculum, and teacher-evaluation systems. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were included in the study. All but one of the 47 CCSS-adopting states reported some type of formal implementation plan for transitioning. The majority of states have begun to align their systems to the CCSS by providing professional development to teachers (45 states), changing or devising curriculum guides and other instructional materials (35 states), and revising teacher-evaluation systems (38 states). Every state that has adopted the CCSS except New Hampshire has a fully developed plan to provide teacher professional development aligned with the CCSS (20 states) or is in the process of developing such a plan (25 states). All but eight of the states say they are working on a plan for their teacher-evaluation systems that will include holding teachers accountable for students' mastery of the standards. Seven states indicated fully developed plans for the implementation of teacher professional development, curriculum materials, and teacher-evaluation systems. Most of these states are recipients of federal Race to the Top funds. Eighteen states lack fully developed plans in all three implementation areas.  This report can also be accessed through the Research section of SPN.


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Classroom Implications for the Common Core Standards

The implications of the new national Common Core State Standards are both exciting and daunting. The Common Core State Standards and related next generational assessments will mean major changes for education:

  • Fewer but higher standards and grade level expectations
  • Focus on both college and career readiness
  • Learner expectations that are academically rigorous and also emphasize application and performance
  • Assessments that are more open-ended and authentic indicators of what students know and can do with knowledge acquired.

Of course, standards do not tell teachers how to teach and cannot by themselves ensure the quality of our nation's education system. However, they constitute an important starting point in helping schools determine the knowledge and skills that ALL students must be equipped with upon graduation.


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Useful Links to other sources of information:

This site is has the standards available for download along with all the latest information from the two groups – CCSSO and the National Governors Association – responsible for the creation and implementation of the CCSS.

From the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, this pdf gives the specifications for the assessments.  Released March 2012

All Race to the Top grant recipient state education agencies are starting to populate their sites with information and resources related to Common Core Standards. This link takes you to New York’s. Search other states’ using: “(state name) and Common Core State Standards”



Useful Links to other sources of information:

The Teaching Channel - great source of free videos aligned to CCSS at all levels

 Literacy Design Collaborative with assessment prompts, rubrics and sample performance assessments  


Lesson and unit support:

This site is has the standards available for download along with all the latest information from the two groups – CCSSO and the National Governors Association – responsible for the creation and implementation of the CCSS.

All Race to the Top grant recipient state education agencies are starting to populate their sites with information and resources related to Common Core Standards. This link takes you to New York’s. Search other states’ using: “(state name) and Common Core State Standards”

Updates and information on the Next Generation Science Standards currently being developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve.

MasteryConnect has released an app for you to have access to the Common Core State Standards from your iPad.

Achieve:  Created in 1996 by the nation's governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C. that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability.  They are lead organization for the PARCC consortium.  Here are other resources they are affiliated with:



On the Road to Implementation Guide


Common Core Comparison Tool (may have to sign on);jsessionid=80BDD453422278171CCECA356141F0D


PARCC Implementation Page


SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (This is their new permanent website)


PARCC Just released Sample test items and prototypes 

The newly released sample test items and prototypes from PARCC are available for educators to access and use as they transition to the Common Core. Over the coming months, additional samples will be released by content area and grade. 

ELA/Literacy Sample Items

Mathematics Sample Items


You may also review the PARCC powerpoint slides on the shifts and assessment advances in:





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