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April 7, 2015

What is Common Core and Smarter Balanced?

Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessments

Common Core is a set of high learning standards in math and English language arts that are designed to better prepare K-12 students for success in college, work and life. The standards, which set learning expectations for students at every grade level, have been developed and voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. They are Washington’s K-12 Learning Standards. 

Smarter Balanced is the new test students will take in grades 3-8 and high school in Washington. The computer-based tests are designed to measure skills like research, listening and communicating reasoning. The tests require students to apply their knowledge to real-world problems, which will help them succeed after they graduate.

Top 3 things you should know about Common Core

#1 CONSISTENT LEARNING EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS

Before Common Core, all 50 states had different sets of expectations for what students should know and be able to do in each grade. Common Core provides a consistent set of learning standards and expectations for all students, no matter where they live.

#2 CLEAR STANDARDS THAT FOCUS ON DEEPER UNDERSTANDING

Common Core goes deeper into fewer topics and focuses on developing students’ deeper understanding of key concepts. The standards build on one another, allowing students to apply the skills and knowledge they learned in the previous grade to real-life situations.

#3 BUILDING THE CRITICAL SKILLS STUDENTS NEED IN THE JOB MARKET

In 2013, Washington had 25,000 unfilled jobs for highly-skilled workers –- and that number is projected to double by 2017. Common Core focuses on building and applying real-world skills students need to be more competitive in the new global economy.

What students need to know by grade level -- Parents' Guide to Student Success

Kindergarten
First grade
Second grade
Third grade
Fourth grade
Fifth grade
Sixth grade
Seventh grade
Eighth grade
High school math
High school ELA

What are Smarter Balanced Assessments?


Smarter Balanced: A Complete Assessment System

Learn more