What is Common Core?

What is Common Core and what does it mean for Piedmont students?
“Common Core” refers to the newly launched national K-12 educational standards being adopted into K-12 curricula across the country this year.

How is Common Core different from what’s been in place til now? More focused and in-depth learning
Common Core cuts back on a hodgepodge of topics and delves deeper into central concepts, requiring all states to use these same standards. “Before Common Core, every state had its own version of math standards. Four years ago, governors and state-level officials began an effort to come up with a uniform set of knowledge that students across the country would master, from kindergarten through high school. The result was the Common Core: one set of standards covering reading and writing, the other mathematics” (Kenneth Chang, Fewer Topics Covered More Rigorously, NYT).

Making the shift to Common Core
As Piedmont teachers and staff put the new standards into practice, the District has multiple professional development and implementation workshops planned to make for a smooth transition. “It is important to focus on a few shifts that have the most significant effect on students. These shifts should guide all aspects of implementing the standards—including professional development, assessment design, and curriculum. When educators attend to three core shifts in English language arts and literacy as well as in mathematics, the expectations for teaching and learning will be clear, consistent, and tightly aligned to the goals of the standards” (Sandra Alberti, “Making the Shifts,” Educational Leadership).

Common Core in the News
With the start of school this month, Common Core has been in the spotlight, generating a great deal of conversation. A noted literacy expert talks about some of the common myths the new standards have generated in the following article, “The Common Core Ate My Baby and Other Urban Legends” (Timothy Shanahan, Educational Leadership).

Join the discussion about Common Core at school Site Council meetings
For more information about Site Council, please visit the PUSD website or check the school calendars for meeting times and locations.

Please contact Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Randall Booker at rbooker@piedmont.k12.ca.us.