With the recent release of the Common Core educational standards, California now faces the same decisions as other states across the country. Should the state adopt the standards? If so, how will California incorporate the academic expectations it determined crucial for students to learn? On June 10, in Sacramento, Policy Analysis for California Education held a forum to explore these issues and open discussion with members of the state’s Academic Standards Content Commission, the commission charged with making a recommendation on whether or not to adopt the standards.
As part of its application for federal Race to the Top funding, California passed a law in January stating that the State Board of Education will consider adoption of the Common Core English Language Arts and Math standards. Facing a short timeline, the Commission must offer its recommendations by July 15, and the State Board must vote on adoption by August 2. If the Board votes in favor of adopting the Common Core, this would mean redesigning what is taught in California classrooms, deciding how to assess whether students are meeting those standards, and deciphering the types of professional development teachers need to help students reach those expectations.