Common Core State Standards
Changes to the K-12 curriculum are underway as schools across Washington begin implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CCSS are a progression of learning expectations in English language arts and mathematics designed to prepare students to be career and college ready when they graduate from high school. These clear, understandable and consistent standards communicate what is expected of students at each grade level, placing students, parents, teachers and school administrators on the same page. The new standards are meant to be rigorous and ensure that students graduate with a strong foundation in the core areas of instruction. In addition to providing students with a more rigorous and consistent base of learning, the new standards will also ensure a much smoother transition for students who move across district or state lines.
For additional information about the Common Core State Standards, we invite you to view these resources:
- What are the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment? (OSPI)
- What will my child be learning at each grade level?
- What would a typical third grade math lesson look like? (video)
- What does success look like at each grade level? (Videos; click on your student's grade level)
- Top eight questions parents ask teachers about the Common Core State Standards
- Learn about the Common Core State Standards in Three Minutes (video)
- Common Core State Standards for Math (video)
- Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy (video)
- TCTV's Superintendents' Roundtable January 2015 (last 30 minutes covers the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment)
- Resources for Parents
- Common Core State Standards – A New Foundation for Student Success (video)
- Common Core State Standards – A New Foundation for Student Success (video with Spanish subtitles)
- What Parents Need to Know about the Common Core
- Grade-by-Grade Parent Roadmaps for Mathematics Instruction
- Grade-by-Grade Parent Roadmaps for English Language Arts Instruction
- Key Points about the Math Standards
- Key Points about the English Language Arts Standards
- Myths and Facts about the Common Core State Standards
- Recursos en Español
The Smarter Balanced Assessment
All Washington state school districts are required to begin conducting new assessments, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment, to measure students’ progress in math and English Language Arts in the spring of the 2014-15 school year. The assessment will give students, teachers and parents the opportunity to see where students may need assistance to move to the next level of learning. It will also tell us exactly how our district’s students are doing in comparison to their peers across our state and nation. Here is some additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment:
- What are Smarter Balanced Assessments? (video)
- Top 10 reasons Washington is moving to the Smarter Balanced Assessment
- NEW: Washington's public colleges and universities have announced that 11th graders who score at Level 3 or 4 on the Smarter Balanced Assessment will not have to take remedial college courses and will automatically be placed into college-level math and English language classes. This will save the cost of the placement test itself and the cost of remedial courses that don't count toward graduation from college.
- How will state colleges and universities use the 11th grade Smarter Balanced Results?
Parents may refuse the test on behalf of their student(s) For more information talk with your school principal.
The Smarter Balanced Assessments will generally be taken on computers, and there are practice tests available provide students, teachers and parents/guardians a good idea of what the new tests will look like. There is a practice test available for each of grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 in both English–language arts and math. Each practice test has about 30 questions, as well as an answer key. If you and/or your student would like to take a practice test follow these steps:
- Ignore the green sign-in box; click on the right arrow beneath the box where you see the words, "Click here to go to the Practice and Training Test Site"
- Click the “Sign In” box
- Select a test grade and click the blue “Yes” box
- Choose which test you would like to take
- Keep the standard settings on the next page; just click “Select” at the bottom of the screen
- Click “Yes, Start my Test” at the bottom of the page
- Click the “Begin Test Now” box
- Take the sample test!
- HELPFUL HINTS: You may want to use scratch paper when completing the test; it will be available to students during the test. When you’re done with a question, click the green “next” button on the top left part of the screen to move to the next question.