Parent Guides to the Common Core State Standards


New standards, called Common Core State Standards, are on the way for all students in California, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. These standards set high expectations for all students. They are rigorous and internationally benchmarked; research- and evidence-based; aligned with college and career expectations; and they build on the foundation laid by individual states. The aim of this state-led initiative is to develop standards that ensure all students are held to consistent expectations that will prepare them for college and career.


As part of the transition to new standards, California is also creating a new assessment system that will help evaluate students' progress on the new standards. (Leer este artículo en español.)

The new standards and tests will:

  • Reflect that California has raised the bar significantly regarding its expectations of all students;
  • Promote students to think more deeply and critically about the content they learn in school across disciplines;
  • Encourage educators to provide deeper learning opportunities for students;
  • Measure student progress toward college-and-career readiness, enabling educators to diagnose any problems and intervene accordingly; and
  • Test student achievement in a more meaningful way by leveraging technology that tailors questions to responses.

This spring, the new testing system will be taken through a "practice run," or field test, that will provide students and teachers with hands-on experience and help identify any necessary technological changes that should occur before the assessment system is fully implemented. Students, parents and educators will need to have patience as bumps in the road are encountered during this important practice run.

Learn more:


Find out what your child will be learning, at each grade level, in Mathematics and English Language Arts once the Common Core State Standards are in place. You'll also learn more about how you can support your child's learning and other helpful information.

This three-minute video from the Council of the Great City Schools explains how the new state standards will help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond. [en Español]


For more information about the new state standards and what they mean for students, teachers and schools, click here.

You can also view a detailed presentation from the California Department of Education.


  • California Department of Education
    Find detailed information about the new state standards including implementation and resources for teachers, administrators, the higher education community and parents.
  • K-8 California's Common Core Standards Parent Handbook
    This handbook, created by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in consultation with the California State PTA, gives parents an introduction to California's CCSS and a summary of what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade eight.
  • SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium Information
    SMARTER Balanced tests will assess the full range of Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics for students in grades 3-8 and 11. It will measure current student achievement and growth over time, showing progress toward college and career readiness, and allowing for growth models.