Common Core State Standards: Moving Mississippi Children To Success

Reality Check

Click here to see the myths being floated about Common Core…and the reality! And read what a mathematician says about the way Common Core math develops students’ intellectual flexiblity and expands their capacity to apply math in new, real-world situations. 

Common Core State Standards

These college- and career-ready standards provide Mississippi parents a consistent, clear understanding of what students need to learn in each grade in order to compete well with their peers upon graduation. These standards, or academic goals, lay out what each child is expected to have learned at each grade level in English language arts and math to be prepared for college and career success. The Common Core was created by educators and community leaders from 48 participating states, including more than 50 teachers and principals from Mississippi.

The Common Core standards are much more rigorous than Mississippi’s former standards, but teachers and students in Mississippi classrooms are working hard to meet the challenge. Teachers across the country are overwhelmingly positive about the new academic goals, with more than 75% saying that they will improve students’ abilities to reason and think critically (according to a Scholastic, Inc. poll of more than 20,000 teachers).

These core standards were adopted by 46 states, and there is good evidence that the increased rigor is yielding students who are better prepared for success. In 2011, Kentucky became the first state to begin using the Common Core State Standards. The percent of Kentucky high school graduates ready for college and career increased from 34 percent to 47 percent in a single year. A year later it jumped to 54 percent.

The Common Core presents an unprecedented opportunity to help all Mississippi students while strengthening our state’s long-term economy. Unfortunately, some want to stop this progress. Others are genuinely confused.

Much of the confusion stems from a misunderstanding of the difference between standards and curriculum. The Common Core is a set of standards, nothing more. It does not specify a curriculum, or how math and English language arts are to be taught, it does not prescribe homework, and it does not dictate a reading list. All of that is left to local school boards and classroom teachers to decide, as has always been the case.

Click here to learn more about what the Common Core is and what it isn’t.

Click here to see what the Mississippi Economic Council has to say about the Common Core State Standards.

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