The common core is the set of high quality academic standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA). The learning objective of a student outlines what a student should know and do at the end of each grade from K-12. The standards were to ensure that the students as they come out of schools have all the necessary skills to succeed in their college, career and entire life. Math and English were chosen as the subjects for Common Core standards as they are the building blocks of skill sets for various other subjects.
Accepted by 42 states in the United States, the common core was the result of the stagnation in the academic progress of US students. The US students were found lagging in international competitions and one of the primary reasons for stagnation was the uneven standards across US. With inputs from teachers, school chiefs, administrators, educationists and experts, the Common Core initiative was a conscious effort to develop a common standard across the states.
A lot of time, thinking and effort have gone into the development of Common Core Math standards. The benefits are abundant that almost all states have agreed to the standard. Many low income schools and schools with a large percent of colored students did not have equitable opportunities to learn. With common standards, mathematics is a tool of liberation and equality.
In the United States, students frequently move between districts and states; even during the middle of the year. Lack of consistency in standards had earlier put them in hardship that is mitigated now. The common core system also eliminates education being at the mercy of legislators and publishers.
Common core enables teachers connecting through a conference, training session or online, to interact, share problems and solutions etc.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a law that mandates year-on-year testing for graders 3-8. Before common core, states developed their own tests, which can now be replaced with better testing.
As the nation moves towards a new approach towards math teaching, programs oriented towards parents are conducted by many schools, to engage them in the concept and help their children succeed. Common Core Math is conceptual and emphasizes deeper understanding rather than the mechanical and repetitive problem solving methods followed earlier. This new approach to math and problem solving will give students deeper math skills and prepare them to compete at international levels.