Common Core State Standards

Florida adopted the Common Core State Standards, which were developed by experienced educators, leaders and experts nationwide and are benchmarked to top performing schools around the world. Since then, the State Board of Education has included 99 changes to the standards. These Florida Core Standards in math and English language arts now include additional skills that Floridians have identified as important, while also ensuring that our kids are learning and absorbing the information they need to succeed at higher levels by improving critical thinking and analytic skills.

Read below for answers to common questions on Common Core State Standards, and click here for more information and resources on Florida's higher standards.

Q: What are Common Core State Standards?

Common Core State Standards are a state-led effort to establish clear world-class educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. Most states have adopted Common Core State Standards in these two subjects. In 2010, Florida adopted Common Core State Standards. Since then, our state has customized the standards to included additional skills that Floridians have identified as important, while also ensuring that our kids are learning and absorbing the information they need to succeed at higher levels by improving critical thinking and analytic skills.

Common Core standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Q: When will the Florida Core Standards be used in our state’s classrooms?

In the 2014-15 school year, all Florida’s schools in grades kindergarten through grade 12 will be using the Florida Core Standards.

Q: How are the Florida Core Standards different from Florida’s current standards?

Both the Florida Core Standards and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards have been described as being “fewer, higher, and clearer” than our old standards.

For example, under Florida’s old Sunshine State Standards, students in kindergarten needed to count from 1 to 36.

Under the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, kindergarten students must be able to count to 20 out loud, in writing, and using objects (baseballs, blocks, etc.).

Under the Florida Core Standards, students in kindergarten need to count up to 100, starting at any number. And they need to be able to count backwards starting at 10.

Q: Who created the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State Standard Initiative involved governors and state education commissioners from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. Common Core standards have been designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators.

Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards. The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), among other organizations have been instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards.

Q: Does the FCAT measure Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Florida Core Standards?

The FCAT (now called FCAT 2.0) has been changed to measure how our students have progressed on the newer standards – the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

In 2014-15, Florida will use different tests to measure how our students have progressed on the Florida Core Standards.

Q: Why is it important that we have these core standards?

The Florida Core Standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that Florida’s students are prepared to be competitive with students from other countries. In today’s economy Florida students will have to compete in a global marketplace against students from China, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Most of the top jobs in America today did not even exist a decade ago. These new standards will ensure that we maintain America’s competitive edge, so that all of our students are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with not only their peers here at home, but with students from around the world.

Q: When will Florida begin testing to the Florida Core Standards?

Florida’s schools will begin testing to the Florida Core Standards in 2014-15. But Florida’s students will be well-positioned for this change because of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

Basically, Florida is taking a step toward Florida Core Standards now, so our students will be even better prepared when 2014-15 arrives and most of the country moves to the new Common Core State Standards.

For more on Common Core State Standards, visit www.ExcelinEd.org.