About the California Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards are the result of a multistate effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for K-12 students in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. Under the leadership of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the development of the standards was launched in 2009. The standards were informed by the best state standards already in existence; the experience of teachers, content experts, and others; and feedback from the public. The final standards, available for voluntary adoption by states, were released in June 2010. They are:

  1. Research- and evidence-based
  2. Clear, understandable, and consistent
  3. Aligned with college and career expectations
  4. Based on rigorous content and application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
  5. Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
  6. Informed by other top performing countries in order to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society

With additions recommended by the California State Academic Content Standards Commission, California adopted the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics in August 2010, joining many other states in the commitment to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college, career, and life.

California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CA CCSS- ELA/Literacy)

The English language arts and literacy standards are based on a set of College and Career Readiness anchor standards and are divided into the four strands of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. As students progress through the grades and achieve the standards, they are increasingly able to exhibit the target Capacities of Literate Individuals:

  • They demonstrate independence.
  • They build strong content knowledge.
  • They respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.
  • They comprehend as well as critique.
  • They value evidence.
  • They use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  • They come to understand other perspectives and cultures.

Guidance for implementation of the standards, which reflect a significant change in expectations for California’s students and highlight the importance of literacy development across all content areas, is provided by the California English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework (ELA/ELD Framework), adopted by the California State Board of Education on July 9, 2014. The ELA/ELD Framework is noteworthy in that it integrates two sets of standards—the CA CCSS-ELA/Literacy and the CA ELD Standards.

California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CA CCSSM)

The standards in mathematics are guided by the principles of focus, coherence, and rigor and are of two types: Mathematical Practice Standards (the same for every grade level) and Mathematical Content Standards (different at every grade level). The eight Mathematical Practice Standards, also referred to as “habits of mind,” are:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The CA CCSSM call for learning math in the context of real-world situations, using math to solve problems, and developing the habits of mind that support development of mathematical understanding.

Guidance on the implementation of the standards is provided by the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, which was adopted by the California State Board of Education on November 6, 2013.

chart 1