What are the Common Core State Standards?

In June 2009, Idaho joined 47 other states, two territories and the District of Columbia in committing to develop a common core of state standards for proficiency in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was a voluntary, state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Working together, these states developed mathematics and English language arts standards that define the knowledge and skills students must acquire in their K-12 education to graduate from high school prepared to succeed in post-secondary education and the workforce. The standards:

  • Are aligned with college and workforce expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable, and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by standards in other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

The Idaho Legislature adopted the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts in January 2011. To date, 46 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.

Common Core State Standards Implementation Timeline:

The Common Core State Standards will not be implemented in Idaho schools immediately, but will be phased in to ensure Idaho teachers and administrators receive professional development and have time with the standards. The state will also work to inform parents and community members about the importance of these new standards. Here is the timeline for implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Idaho:

  1. 2011-2012 school year
    Understanding the Standards:

    Working with local school districts to better understand the Common Core State Standards and how they are the foundation for the 21st Century Classroom.
  2. 2012-2013 school year
    Developing Idaho's Professionals:

    Providing statewide professional development for teachers and administrators on how to transition to and begin teaching the Common Core State Standards in every Idaho classroom.
  3. 2013-2014 school year
    Implementing the Standards:

    Putting the Common Core State Standards into practice across grades K-12.
  4. 2014-2015 school year
    Assessing Idaho's Standards:

    Implementing new statewide summative assessments with interim item banks and formative assessment tools available to better assess and strengthen student progress throughout the school year.
Professional Development Schedule:

During the 2011-2012 school year, the State Department of Education will provide professional development on the Common Core State Standards to leadership teams within each local school district.

District Leadership Trainings

The State Department of Education Common Core State Standards Team will be hosting six one-day regional district leadership workshops. The workshops will be held across the state from October 13 to November 2. This training is intended to support the planning process for each district's integration of the Common Core State Standards into curriculum and teaching practice.

Districts are asked to bring leadership teams of 4-6 members including:

A district administrator, special education director, Federal Programs Director, Curriculum Director, Principal, and those who are instructional leaders and decision-makers in your district. Examples of others you may include: Teacher (General Education, LEP, Title 1, Special Education), Instructional coach.

The sessions will provide:

  • Understanding of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Assessment
  • Knowledge and tools needed to support district professional learning
  • Strategies to link CCSS to current state and district initiatives
  • Information and time to develop a district implementation plan

In addition to the statewide district leadership team workshops, the State Department of Education will host a series of webinars for teachers and school administrators. Here are the dates and times for those webinars in October:

The ELA CCSS: Changing Instructional Practice (K-5)
October 12 (4:15-5:15 MST) - CCSS Math Elementary Webinar

Moving Beyond Awareness
October 19 (4:15-5:15 MST) - CCSS ELA Secondary Webinar

The ELA CCSS: Changing Instructional Practice (6-12)
October 26 (4:15-5:15 MST) - CCSS Math Secondary Webinar