Common Core State Standards

Most educators are familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), but some may be unsure of the implications for their educational communities.  Adopted by 48 states and most territories, CCSS is voluntary, and not mandated by the Federal government.  Once formally adopted, it will be up to each state to implement the standards and select appropriate materials. A few states began full implementation last year (2012/13), while some began this year (2013/14), and many will wait until next year (2014/15) when a correlated assessment will become available.

Common Core defines what is expected of students at every grade level in Math and English/Language Art (K-5 Reading Standards incorporates History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects) - but it leaves the states to define how that will be accomplished.  And that's a problem teachers and administrators will have to solve. Thankfully, educational technology publishers are beginning to offer solutions. [For more information about Common Core, see the official website ]

Among our current EDDIE Awards winners, the most thorough CCSS solutions are offered by Edgenuity, and the titles are simply
Common Core English Language Arts Grades 6-8 and Common Core English Language Arts 11.  Both are specifically aligned with Common Core Standards at the lesson level, provide high quality instructional videos, appropriate and engaging reading selections, and assessments.

Another ELA website,
Reading A-Z, offers a plethora of solutions for educators seeking to align instruction with CCSS, with thousands of leveled books, advice for teachers, and topics from Foundational Skills to Assessment for Grades K-5. (See a complete review of Reading A-Z in our archived back issue.)

Of our math website winners, we mention two:
PREPWORKS, which offers a "CORE Knowledge Toolbox" (TM) of well-designed instructional videos explaining key core concepts in its ACT Test Prep program; and Edmentum's Study Island, a website explicitly designed to help students master Common Core math content.

In the near future, educators looking for Common Core resources will have many choices, but we believe these four 2013 EDDIE winners, as well as others mentioned in our Reviews section, are an excellent place to start.

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