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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Two Publications to Help Schools and Students Transition to Common Core State Standards

SACRAMENTO—With schools beginning the year deeply engaged in the transition to the Common Core State Standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that they are available in print for the first time.



CDE Press, the publishing arm of the California Department of Education, is now offering print versions of the California Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy) (DOC; 3MB) and California Common Core State Standards: Mathematics (CA CCSSM) (DOC; 6MB)*. Previously, the documents were available only online.

  At the same time, Torlakson released a short video explaining in plain language the importance of California’s transition to assessments based on the new Common Core State Standards.

  “These standards are the blueprints for remodeling our education system, laying out step-by-step what students need to know and be able to do to graduate ready to start a career or go to college,” Torlakson said. “And if we’re updating how and what we teach students, then we have to update the way we test as well.”

          Standards define the knowledge, concepts, and skills students should acquire at each grade level. The Common Core standards are designed so that all students—no matter where they come from or where they live—receive a world-class education that is consistent from school to school, and graduate ready to contribute to the future of the state and the country.

          The standards were developed by teachers, principals, parents, education experts, and feedback from the public in an initiative spearheaded by governors and state school chiefs. Almost all 50 states have voluntarily signed on, including California, which formally adopted the standards in 2010.

         Implementation decisions remain with local school boards, and the standards establish what students need to learn in English-language arts and mathematics, but they do not tell teachers how to teach. The standards provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn at every grade level.

           One of the next steps statewide is the transition to new, computer-based assessments aligned to the Common Core. Torlakson’s recommendations for this change are incorporated in AB 484, which is making its way through the legislative process.