Common Core State Standards

  • Why the Common Core State Standards?

    • So every child is college, career, & citizenship ready
    • To increase literacy
    • National standards allow us to measure progress across states, collaborate with each other, and align resources
    • To provide structure for instructional improvement...a consistent progression for K-12

    How Does It Look?

    • Teacher as a facilitator, pushing for higher levels of thinking
    • The teacher asks more questions, gives fewer answers
    • The gradual release of responsibility
    • More depth, rigor, complexity, relevance, & deeper understanding
    • Differentiation to meet each student's needs
    • Fewer standards in CCCSS and more encouragement for students to go deeper into a topic and make connections
    • Less emphasis on the learning of skills and more emphasis on utilization and transfer of knowledge to new situations
    • Emphasis on critical thinking, inquiry, problem solving, and creative, divergent thinking
    • Open-ended opportunities

    Six Shifts for English Language Arts in CCCSS:

    • Read as much nonfiction as fiction
    • Learn about the world from reading
    • Read more challenging materials closely
    • Discuss reading using evidence
    • Write non-fiction using evidence
    • Increase academic vocabulary
    • Students need to know how to critically analyze text
    • Students will be required to write in response literature
    • Writing will be connected to reading
    • Reading and writing will be taught in social studies, science, math...throughout the day

    Six Shifts for Math in CCCSS:

    • Focus:  Students will learn more about fewer key topics and go into greater depth
    • Students will build skills within and across grades
    • Students will develop speed and accuracy
    • Students will really know it, really do it
    • Students will use math in the real world
    • Students will think fast and solve problems

    More information:


    While State testing has been with us for the past decade, the California Standards Tests (STAR) are being retired in favor of a new assessment system in 2015. Below I have highlighted the differences in the new State assessment system that is just around the corner for the 2014-2015 school year. The new State assessment system, called the Smarter Balance Assessments, are going to be vastly different from what your student has experienced in the past. Here are a few key features of the new Smarter Balance assessments:

    • Measures student achievement and growth in English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school. (2nd grade will no longer be tested)Includes accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners so that all students can demonstrate what they know.
    • Administered online with questions and performance tasks that measure critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    • Expectations of student performance linked to international benchmarks.

    How does this test look?

    • Students write long and short answers
    • Students work collaboratively on some tasks, to solve problems
    • This is a computer adaptive test
    • Students do research projects
    • Students do multiple choice problems

    Deterding Elementary School is already preparing our students for this computer adaptive growth model of testing that will occur throughout the year – not just two weeks in the spring. We will be implementing the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments are a formative growth measure which provides teachers, students, and parents information on performance aligned to Common Core State Standards. During the 2013-2014 school year, the schools within SJUSD will test all students in grades 3-9 (except ILS students) in the Reading and Mathematics MAP assessments.

    This MAP assessment system is similar to the Smarter Balanced Assessments in regards to interface and content. It will be a great intermediate step for our students to take computer adaptive assessments that will help us better individualize the curriculum while preparing the students for the new testing paradigm. Gone are the days of a hyper-intensive focus on testing for two weeks and they are will be replaced with a more natural growth assessment model that will record students’ learning over time. Deterding has already turned our focus to the future of student assessments!

    Please see the below links for more information:

    Smarter Balanced Testing info:

    MAP Testing info:

Last Modified on July 11, 2019