Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Changing Common Core Name

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 7, 2015

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

CALIFORNIA STANDARDS

I want to let you know that I have changed the way I refer to our new academic standards in speeches and written materials. I am no longer using the term “Common Core.” Instead, I am calling them the new “California Standards.”

As you know, I am a strong supporter of the new standards in English language arts and mathematics and believe they are going a long way toward updating our education system to meet the challenges of the 21st century. But I believe the term “Common Core” has outlived its usefulness.

Why? It confuses some people and has polarized people in other parts of the country.

But more importantly, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It only includes English language arts and math. By contrast, the term “California Standards” covers not only English language arts and mathematics but all subject areas including science (or the Next Generation Science Standards), English language development, history-social science, health, physical education, visual and performing arts, and career technical education.

In addition, it conveys the context for these standards, making it clear they have been developed and reviewed by California educators.

Further, I frequently refer to the new California Standards as “rigorous” to indicate that we are upgrading virtually all of the key subjects California students need to succeed in 21st century careers and college.

The term and brand “Common Core” will be with us for some time, but I want to share my thinking about how I describe some of the exciting changes we are implementing together to transform education in California. Working together as a team, we are creating the new “California Way” and building on the huge assets present in our students, teachers, and districts statewide.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:ba
2015-03236

Last Reviewed: Monday, June 6, 2016

Recently Posted in Editorials & Letters

  • Updated Procedures for State Seal Of Biliteracy (added 08-Nov-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators regarding the recently updated procedures for awarding the State Seal Of Biliteracy.
  • The ASVAB Career Exploration Program (added 19-Oct-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding the ASVAB Career Exploration Program.
  • Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care (added 13-Oct-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding educational stability requirements for students in foster care.
  • The 2018 CAAASA Summit (added 09-Oct-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding the 2018 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators Professional Development (CAAASA) Summit.
  • The Race to Submit Initiative (added 05-Oct-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding the Race to Submit campaign.

  • Collaboration in Common (added 04-Oct-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding Collaboration in Common, which is an online professional learning community and resource exchange platform for all California educators.
  • CA New Accountability System & System of Support (added 02-Oct-2017)
    California's New Accountability System & System of Support: Dashboard rollout
  • Digital Citizenship Week is Oct. 16-20 (added 29-Sep-2017)
    Fall Digital Citizenship Week is October 16-20, 2017
  • 2017 CalEd Grant Initiative (updated 29-Sep-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding the Commission On Teacher Credentialing CalEd Grant Initiative.
  • 2017 California STEAM Symposium (added 21-Sep-2017)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals regarding the 2017 California Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Symposium.