Common Core FAQ

  • What are the Common Core State Standards?

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    Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a term used to refer to a set of common educational standards in English language arts and math that have been adopted by almost all of the states in the nation. Having the same standards helps to ensure all students receive a quality education, even if they change schools or move to a different state.

     

    The effort to create a set of common standards was led by educators and state leaders across the nation who wanted to promote consistency among the nation’s public schools. Teachers, parents, school administrators, state departments of education, assessment developers, scholars, students, community members and experts provided input into the development of the CCSS.

     

    The standards were written using the best and highest state standards already in existence throughout the country. They are based on research around effective instruction, internationally benchmarked, and aligned with college and work expectations. To learn more about the CCSS in SUSD visit our CCSS OVERVIEW.

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  • What do the new standards mean for my child?

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    SUSD has always aligned its curriculum to state standards. We use the standards as a basis for what students are supposed to know and be able to do at each grade level.

     

    The new standards place more emphasis on real-world application and understanding of materials, and less emphasis on basic memorization and test-taking skills. Students will better learn how to analyze and understand why an answer is correct in order to be able to explain why they have reached a particular solution to a problem. These are skills that are critical to success in college or a career. The new standards will require students to demonstrate that they can independently apply multiple knowledge areas to solve complex problems.

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  • How and when will my child be assessed on the new standards?

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    California assessments are being developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). SUSD is already preparing to transition to the new computerized testing model for grades 3-8. Field testing will begin in Spring 2014 and full testing by Spring 2015. Read more in the SBAC OVERVIEW.

    The STAR test will not be available to CA schools for the current 2013-2014 school year. The exception to this is the STAR Science test which will still be given to current 5th and 8th graders. SUSD will also be administering the MARS Math test to students in grades 2-8.

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  • What can I do to help my child succeed?

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    New standards haven’t changed the critical role that informed and involved parents have to a student’s success. In addition to encouraging your student to think in terms of “why” a particular answer or solution is correct, parents are encouraged to stay in close communication with their child’s teachers about a child’s school work and progress. By staying informed about your child’s school experience, you can offer help where needed and encourage three-dimensional success.

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  • Where can I get more information?

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    Resources that are helpful for parents and families are posted on the CCSS RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES webpage. Questions can also be sent to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Roberta Zarea at rzarea@saratogausd.org.

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