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In June 2010, the Common Core State Standards Initiative released Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The goal of these shared national standards? To identify for all stakeholders the knowledge and skills that students must acquire to succeed in college, careers, and the global economy. Now that the Common Core standards are coming to 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, it is essential to understand their content and implications. Understanding Common Core State Standards tells you everything you need to know about the standards, including * The goals and criteria of the standards and why they are a promising alternative to the old standards-based education model; * The organization and key aspects of the two overarching sets of standards; * The benefits of implementing the standards, including intentional instruction, a greater pool of resources, increased collegiality and professionalism, customized learning and multiple pathways, and a more consistent, equitable learning experience; * What schools can do to transition to the new standards; and * How the common state assessment systems are being developed to provide interactive, enhanced test items; produce specific, timely test results; and provide an indication of students' readiness for college or career. This book is an invitation to think about the possibilities that the Common Core standards offer for strengthening teaching and learning across the United States--and what you can do to make the most of this opportunity for change.