Preparing for The Common Core State Standards: What You Need to Know

March 22, 2013

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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for grades K-12 are national educational standards which were adopted by the California State Board of Education in 2010. The goal of the CCSS is to guarantee that all students are receiving a consistently high quality education, from school to school and state to state.

The Standards will help to answer the perpetual student question of "Why am I doing this?" with examples of how someone in the world of work is applying the principles and skill sets that are being taught in the classroom. So, what can charter schools be doing right now to prepare to implement the CCSS?

Charter Leaders:

  • Create a transition plan to prepare for the Common Core State Standards.
  • Schedule significant professional development time to educate charter school instructors about the Common Core State Standards and how to implement them.
  • Evaluate school technology plan to ensure it accommodates the technology required for the CCSS and is available for students to practice their writing skills now and to take the Smarter Balance Assessments in the future.


  • Make tiny transitions from the current standards to the CCSS this school year.
  • For example, require students to use a computer to draft four to five pages of writing weekly, in the areas of ELA and Social Sciences, to help improve their writing skills and prepare to take the Smarter Balance Assessments on the computer.
  • Spend time on the Smarter Balanced web site to review sample questions.
  • Start planning lessons using strategic design, rather than traditional planning.

For Example:

  • Select the standard to be taught
  • Design assessments
  • Plan instruction
  • Use data from assessment to give feedback, reteach the standard and/or move on

Board members:

  • Set aside time to review the CCSS and its implications for your charter school.
  • Consider hiring a consultant to help your charter school through the transition to the CCSS.

Got more questions about the Common Core State Standards? Register today for CCSA's free, online webinar, on March 27 from 10 am to 12 pm.

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