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Seeing the Future: How the Common Core State Standards Will Affect Mathematics and English Language Arts in Grades 3-12 Across America


The U.S. Department of Education recognized the need for new assessments and allocated $350 million from the 2010 federal stimulus package for competitive grants for the development of a new generation of assessment systems. To drive economies of scale and ensure greater consistency in academic expectations across states, the grant required that a) applicants be consortia of 15 or more states, and b) these states agree to use the same passing scores for accountability purposes.

The grant program further required that the new assessment systems utilize technology to the maximum extent appropriate for development, delivery and scoring of the assessments. Building up the technology infrastructure needed for the assessments will also support classroom instruction because the Common Core call for students to gain proficiency with various technologies, such as the use of spreadsheets and dynamic graphing software for analysis and modeling of complex problems in mathematics and the use of search engines and collaboration tools for research.

With new standards, classroom instruction must change in important ways to address them. To that end, each of the consortia included in their design digital libraries through which they will make available an ever-increasing collection of high quality, vetted resources for teacher professional development, instruction, and student and parent support. All of the resources will be aligned with the Common Core and the new assessments.