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Common Core State Standards

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Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school.

Since 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards. Below you will find information about the standards and the CCSS-related activities taking place in California.

Resources for Students, Parents, and Guardians

Information and resources about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for students, parents, and guardians.

  • Informational Handouts
    Informational flyers providing overviews and highlights of the CCSS, available in multiple languages.
  • What’s Cooking with Common Core in California? (New 18-Aug-2014)
    This brief video explains what the transition to the CCSS means for California. This video was developed by the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation in collaboration with the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California State PTA®, California School Boards Association, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers AFT/AFL-CIO, Association of California School Administrators, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
  • K-8 California's Common Core Standards Parent Handbook
    This handbook, created by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in consultation with the California State Parent Teacher Association (PTA), gives parents an introduction to California's CCSS and a summary of what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade eight. This document has been translated into 17 languages. The handbook and translations may be found on the CCSESA Common Core Standards Communication Tools Web page External link opens in new window or tab. under the General Overview Materials section.
  • California PTA Parent Resources Web Page
    The California State PTA has made available many resources for parents to learn more about the CCSS and support their child's achievement of the standards. Resources include frequently asked questions, presentations, a parents' guide, links to additional resources, and articles of interest.
    • Parents' Guide to Student Success
      A guide, available in English and Spanish, for the CCSS in grades K-8 and two for grades 9-12 (one for English language arts/literacy and one for mathematics) created by the National PTA. The guide includes key items that children should be learning in each grade and activities parents can do at home to support their child's learning.
  • Grade Level Curriculum
    The grade-level curriculum documents are organized by individual grade levels and include information about transitioning to the CCSS.
  • Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps
    The Council of Great City Schools has developed parent roadmaps for understanding the ELA and mathematics CCSS in kindergarten through eighth grade. For each grade and subject, the roadmaps explain to parents what children will be learning and how parents can support learning outside of the classroom.
  • Shifts for Students and Parents
    EngageNY has created a practical guide that provides steps that parents can take to improve their child’s learning of the CCSS.

Resources for the Higher Education Community

  • CCSS and Higher Education (DOC)
    This handout includes information about transitioning to the CCSS for the higher education community.
  • Letter from UC, CSU, CCC, and AICCU Leaders (New 29-Aug-2014)
    In this letter to the State Board of Education, leaders of the University of California system, the California State University system, the California Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities outline their endorsement of the CCSS and their support for continuous collaboration between K–12 and higher education.
  • Higher Education for Higher Standards External link opens in new window or tab.
    Higher Education for Higher Standards is a growing coalition of college and university leaders who believe college- and career-ready standards, including the CCSS, are critical to improving student success.

Community Partners

Information and resources about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for local school board members, business leaders, and community partners.

  • CCSS and School Boards (DOC)
    This handout includes information about transitioning to the CCSS for local school boards.
  • CSBA CCSS Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
    The California School Boards Association (CSBA) has produced a number of resources to assist governance teams as they implement the CCSS in their district or county office of education.
  • CPE Understanding the Common Core
    The Center for Public Education (CPE), an initiative of the National School Boards Association, has gathered a compendium of resources to help you understand what these new standards are—and aren't—and what states are doing to ensure all students graduate college and career ready.
  • Chamber of Commerce Smarter Balanced Flyer (PDF)
    This informational flyer was developed by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in collaboration with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to inform the business community about what the Smarter Balanced assessment system will mean for them.
  • Business Center for a College- and Career-Ready America (BCCRA)
    The BCCCRA aims to help business leaders think more strategically about how best to support college and career readiness for all students in states across the country. To strengthen the bridge between awareness and engagement, the BCCCRA provides a range of practical and customizable tools, key messages, talking points and examples of how current business leaders are supporting standards-based education reform — both within and across states.


Common Core State Standards Initiative

SMARTER Balances Assessment Consortium

California Department of Education

Los Angeles County Office of Education

Arizona Department of Education

Resources for Teachers

  • Grade Level Curriculum
    The grade-level curriculum documents are organized by individual grade levels and include information about transitioning to the CCSS.
  • Achieve the Core
    Free, high-quality resources compiled by Student Achievement Partners, writers of the CCSS, for educators implementing the CCSS, including professional learning modules, handouts, presentations, sample lessons, lesson videos, and much more.
  • CCSS Resource Clearinghouses
    Listed Web sites include continuously expanding collections of CCSS implementation resources. Since many of these sites are under development, users are advised to visit these sites often for the latest resources.

Not finding what you need? Use the keyword search and filters to find specific resources at Common Core Search.

Additional Resources for Mathematics

California Math Council

Council of the Great City Schools:

  • Parent Road Maps to the Common Core Standards-Mathematics
  • Spanish Parent Road Maps to the Common Core Standards-Mathematics