DCPS Common Core State Standards 

New standards that will help parents, teachers and community members understand what students should learn each year


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What are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)In the classroom, our educators are ready and waiting to give all students the knowledge and skills needed for success in college, careers, and life.

We believe that a combination of excellent teaching, strong standards, and active student and family participation combine into a potent recipe for success.

Since we are committed to providing our students with a rigorous education, DC has joined 40 other states and five territories in adopting a new set of standards, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

These standards lay out what students should know and be able to do in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The new standards will help parents, teachers and community members understand what students should learn each year. 

Also, because so many states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, we will be able to compare our students’ achievements to those of students around the country. Adopting the Common Core State Standards will have a major impact on the quality of education we provide our students.

Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards

To view the captions for this video, click the “CC” icon in the lower-right of the video screen.

Video de Tres Minutos que se Explica las Estándares Estatales de Common Core

Why is it important for DCPS to adopt the CCSS?

1. Our students need to graduate from high school ready to be successful in college, careers and life. Yet, only 9 percent of 9th grade students in DC graduated from college within five years of finishing high school. Moreover, if you’re a DC student who just makes proficiency on the DC CAS, that level of proficiency translates to only a 16th percentile score on the SAT.

2. Given our transient population, our current standards create challenges. When you inherit a 6th grade student from Maryland or Virginia, there are inevitably some standards that students already have mastered and others that will fall into a gap.

3. In our current system of standards, we are comparing apples to oranges. Students in different states receive completely different educations, and this makes it difficult to discuss student performance across states.

For all these reasons, our students deserve better. By teaching according to the Common Core State Standards, we will ensure that our students get no less than our best.

What is the purpose for having the CCSS?

The main reason for the CCSS is to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Common standards will:

  • help ensure students are receiving a high-quality education consistently from school-to-school and state-to-state
  • provide a greater opportunity to share experiences and best practices within and across states.

In other words, we finally will be able to compare apples to apples.

Who developed the CCSS?

The Common Core State Standards is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of English/Language Arts and math standards that states can voluntarily adopt. 

Forty-eight states participated in the creation of the standards. To date, 40 states, five territories and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.

Teachers, parents, administrators, educational experts, governors, state school officials, and national organizations were involved in the development of the CCSS.

Against which standards were the CCSS benchmarked?

While informed by strong existing state standards, the CCSS are internationally benchmarked so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.

Will we stop using the DC standards for the 2011-2012 school year?

Starting August 2011, DCPS teachers will begin to transition to the Common Core State Standards.

During the 2011-12 school year, kindergarten – grade 12 teachers will teach the English Language Arts Common Core standards.

Also during the 2011-12 school year, kindergarten - grade 2 classrooms will begin to implement the CCSS in mathematics. DCPS teachers in grades 3 - 12 will continue to use the DC mathematics learning standards during the 2011-2012 school year.

During the 2012-2013 school year, all grades will transition to the Common Core State Standards in mathematics.”

To compare the current DC standards with the Common Core State Standards, explore the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Crosswalk of Standards.

How will the CCSS be assessed?

While there will not be only one nationwide assessment developed for the CCSS Initiative, clear
guidance was set for what an assessment for CCSS would look like, and two large groups of states were formed to create assessments.

Our group, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), will launch our assessment in the 2014–2015 school year. As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said, these “next generation assessments” are an “absolute game-changer.”

Overlap of DC standards and CCSSAccording to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, for 2011–2012 school year, 2012–2013 school year and 2013–2014 school year, the DC CAS will assess the Common Core State Standards that overlap with the DC standards.

Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, paced interim assessments will replace the former Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) assessments. These paced interim assessments will measure student learning and progress towards mastery of the Common Core standards in English Language Arts. 

In addition, paced interim assessments in 2011-2012 will also measure student progress in relation to the DC mathematics standards in grades 3 – 10 and the CCSS mathematics standards in grade 2.”

What is DCPS' timeline to implement CCSS?

January 26, 2011 Principal/Assistant Principal Academy: Overview of the CCSS for leaders
February 18, 2011 Professional Develoment Day: Overview of the CCSS with school staff
April - June 2011 Professional development opportunities will provide a deeper dive into the CCSS
Summer 2011 Summer CCSS Planning/Professional development sessions
2011-2012 School Year CCSS-aligned instructional focus in K-12 English Language Arts, CCSS-aligned instructional focus in K-2 mathematics, professional development, and instructional planning support.
2012-2013 School Year CCSS-aligned instructional focus in K-12 mathematics, professional development, and instructional planning support.
2014-2015 School Year Complete transition to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment

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