About Common Core




What are the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State Standards are a set of clear standards for math and English Language Arts that were developed to ensure every student graduates high school prepared for college or the workforce. The standards reflect rigorous learning benchmarks set by countries whose students currently outperform American students on international assessments. For more information, please visit http://www.corestandards.org/.



The Common Core State Standards

Why did Tennessee adopt the Common Core? Tennessee is committed to ensuring high school students graduate prepared for college or the workforce. Currently, only 15 percent of Tennessee students graduate at a college-ready level.[1] Since raising the standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2009, Tennessee is now taking further steps to enhance the quality of instruction and learning for its students. The Common Core will allow teachers in Tennessee to collaborate with and learn from teachers in other states, since many teachers will follow a shared set of standards.



How will the Common Core affect teaching in Tennessee?

Common Core will allow teachers more creativity and flexibility in their teaching while requiring a significant shift in instructional practice. These standards will require new approaches to help students master more critical thinking and problem-solving skills. For more details on changes in the classroom, please see the Instructional Shifts sections in the subject-area subpages.


How will Common Core affect assessment in Tennessee?

The transition to the Common Core will also include the adoption of new assessments. Starting in the 2014-15 school year, the current Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests in math and English Language Arts for grades 3-11 will be replaced by an online summative assessment comprised of a Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and an End-of-Year Assessment (EOY). Tennessee is working with a number of other states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium to design these new assessments. For more information on PARCC and assessment design, please visit http://www.parcconline.org/.


What is the timeline for implementing the Common Core in Tennessee?

Common Core State Standards will be phased into math and English Language Arts across all grade levels in the coming academic years, with full implementation of the standards scheduled for 2013-14. For more details, see Tennessee's transition plan and 2013-14 implementation plan as well as the math and ELA subpages. 

Source: Adapted from the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)