Common Core State Standards Overview
Welcome to Connecticut’s Common Core State Standards Library.
An Introduction to Common Core
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy that are grounded in evidence and designed to ensure that all students have the academic knowledge and skills they need in these core subjects to succeed after high school. The CCSS were developed in a state-led process under the leadership of governors and chief state school officers with participation from 48 states. The process included the involvement of state departments of education, districts, teachers, community leaders, experts in a wide array of fields, and professional educator organizations.
English Language Arts/Literacy
A good place to begin to understand the CCSS is through a study of the standards themselves and the key instructional shifts required in each discipline. In English language arts/literacy, students will be exposed to a balance of literary and informational texts to build a growing base of knowledge and will be expected to cite evidence from within the texts in order to answer questions and develop written or verbal responses. Students will also be expected to develop facility with academic language and read texts that increase in complexity as they progress so that all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. The instructional shifts in English language arts/literacy are as follows:
- Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
- Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
- Regular practice with complex text and academic language
Focus and coherence are the two major evidence-based design principles of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. These principles are meant to fuel greater achievement in a deep and rigorous curriculum, one in which students acquire conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply mathematics to solve problems. Thus, the instructional shifts in mathematics are as follows:
- Focus: focus strongly where the standards focus
- Coherence: think across grades/courses, and link to major topics in each course
- Rigor: in major topics, pursue with equal intensity
- conceptual understanding,
- procedural skill and fluency, and
To ensure that all Connecticut students are able to meet these high expectations, all educators need access to high-quality and well-aligned instructional and assessment materials. In support of the work being done by both educators and developers to meet this need, Achieve, the Council of Chief State School Officers and Student Achievement Partners have developed a Toolkit for Evaluating Alignment of Instructional and Assessment Materials. The purpose of the Toolkit is to catalyze the impact that the CCSS can have on student achievement by increasing the prevalence of CCSS-aligned, high-quality instructional and assessment materials. Adapted from the Introduction: Toolkit for Evaluating Alignment of Instructional and Assessment Materials to the Common Core State Standards, July 2013, l-1.
Why Common Core?
CCSS Handbooks and Tools
- EQuIP: Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products
- Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards/ Glossary of Key Terms
- Appendix B: Text, Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks
- Appendix C: Samples of Student Writing
- Key Shifts in Mathematics
- NEA Common Core State Standards Toolkit