Common Core and School English Language Arts
The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to ensure that students will be college- and career-ready in their skills and knowledge by the end of high school. A secondary purpose is to have consistent criteria of grade-level expectations in English language arts and mathematics across states.
The shared learning goals do not constitute a national curriculum.
- They are a list of the skills students need to know by the end of specific grade levels from K-12.
- The standards do not explain how content should be taught nor do they recommend what materials to use.
- Each state and/or school district decides what school curriculum and sequence of skills to develop in order to comply with the state standards.
- Because schools use different curriculums, how concepts are taught may vary widely in neighboring school districts.
The Common Core standards for English language arts (ELA) are grouped into four categories: Reading, Language, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.
- The school standards are designed for students to fully understand what they read and hear, and for students to effectively speak and write about their understanding.
- The standards in Language and Reading are more foundational.
- The standards for Writing and Speaking and Listening involve the application of knowledge and skills.
Several standards can often be addressed through one content-rich activity. The standards for ELA emphasize that students encounter complex texts at each grade level in order to develop the language skills and conceptual knowledge they need for success in school and life. With guidance from the teacher, students read closely complex texts and build knowledge through content-rich nonfiction. Students build literacy skills and knowledge in multiple disciplines, and must read, write, and speak using evidence grounded in literary and informational texts.