March 20, 2012
State Schools Chief Torlakson Announces Plan to Implement Common
Core State Standards Presented to Governor and State Legislature
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Systems Implementation Plan for California was presented to executive and legislative branches of state government.
"After months of planning and collaborating with our implementation partners, we have presented the Governor and State Legislature with a living document to guide California's implementation of the Common Core State Standards," said Torlakson. "This work will take our state's already world-class standards to a new level, emphasizing a deep understanding of English-language arts and mathematics to ensure our students complete high school, ready to thrive in college and careers."
Standards define the knowledge, concepts, and skills students should acquire at each grade level. The CCSS were developed through a state-led initiative to establish consistent, clear education standards for English-language arts and mathematics across the nation. The standards are research-based and internationally benchmarked—i.e., they are informed by the practices of academically high-achieving nations around the world. The CCSS are designed to prepare students for success in college and careers not only in the nation, but in the competitive global economy.
The CCSS Systems Implementation Plan for California describes the major phases and activities in the implementation of the CCSS throughout California's educational system. The first phase involves increasing awareness of the CCSS, introduces the initial planning system to implement it, and establishes ways to collaborate with interested parties. The second phase outlines a transition period by building resources, assessing needs, establishing new professional learning opportunities, and expanding collaboration between stakeholders. The third phase will include the implementation of new professional learning support; fully aligned curriculum, instruction, and testing; and the integration of these elements for all students.
California's State Board of Education last adopted standards for English-language arts and mathematics in 1997. Although California's 1997 academic content standards and the CCSS for English-language arts and mathematics are equal in their level of rigor and call for high expectation for all students, the Common Core standards provide for additional skills and knowledge necessary in a global economy and technology-rich workplace. For example, under the CCSS students will learn to work collaboratively and use digital media to express and present evidence-based fiction and non-fiction literary analysis. The CCSS also focus on extending mathematical thinking to real-world challenges so that students develop a depth of understanding and an ability to solve everyday problems through the power of mathematics. Full implementation of the CCSS is expected in 2014-15.
To view the CCSS Systems Implementation Plan for California and additional CCSS resources, please visit the California Department of Education Web site at Common Core State Standards Resources - Curriculum & Instruction.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100