NYS Learning Standards

Common Core Learning Standards

The Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) are a set of clear guidelines showing what students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 should be able to do in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. With these standards, students start by learning basic skills in early grades and build up to mastering more difficult skills and concepts.

By having common standards, all students across the state — and across the country —should have the opportunity to learn the same skills. In the past, every state had its own set of academic standards, meaning U.S. students were learning different skills and concepts at different rates. The Common Core Standards give all students an equal opportunity to learn at higher levels. In turn, pupils should graduate with a greater chance to succeed in college, careers and life.

Why are Common Core Learning Standards being introduced?

The new standards are designed to better prepare students to tackle college-level courses and gain skills needed in current and future careers. In New York, fewer than 35 percent of students are graduating from school with the skills they need to pass college courses. Employers in the state and nation report that newly hired staff do not have the basic reading, writing and math skills to do their jobs well. Changing these trends means changing the approaches we use to educate our children.

What do these changes mean for our children?

With the new standards, students will be learning skills that are more in-depth, advanced and challenging than the content they learned in the past. These changes are called Common Core “shifts.”

For example, in English Language Arts (ELA), pupils will:

  • Read more non-fiction.
  • Learn about the world by reading.
  • Read more challenging material.
  • Talk about reading using evidence gathered from the material read.
  • Learn how to write based on what was read.
  • Learn more vocabulary words.

In mathematics, students will:

  • Build on content and concepts learned in the previous grade level.
  • Spend more time on fewer concepts (i.e., learn in a more in-depth way).
  • Develop speed and accuracy in solving problems.
  • Really understand math and how to use it in real-world situations.
  • Prove mathematics knowledge by showing step-by-step how problems were solved.

These skills were tested for the first time in New York’s grades 3-8 ELA and math exams in April 2013.

More History & Background on the Common Core Learning Standards

On July 19, 2010, the New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for English language arts & mathematics as new learning standards for all students in New York State. To date, 45 states have adopted similar Common Core standards. Establishing common education standards throughout the nation ensures that all children---regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, or life history---receive an education that enhances their potential.

In New York State, the CCLS provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

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