Common Core State Standards are being implemented throughout much of the nation, including California, to provide clear guidelines for student learning at each grade level in every participating state.
The goal is to improve college and career readiness, to boost classroom equity among districts, and to make it less likely that any California student will face higher or lower academic expectations upon moving to another state.
Common Core standards provide a set of shared goals, expectations and benchmarks for what knowledge and skills students should have at each grade level, but they are not curriculum, not lesson plans, and they do not dictate how teachers should teach. Natomas Unified and other California school districts remain in control of implementation.
For Natomas Unified School District, Common Core standards are consistent with the Board-adopted vision that “All students graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens.” The guidelines also support NUSD’s core beliefs that “Every student can learn and succeed,” and that, “Disparity and disproportionality can and must be eliminated.”
Natomas Unified has developed a multiyear Common Core phase-in plan that includes aligning curriculum across our grade levels and schools as well as using regular assessments to inform instruction. The goal is creation of a “New Natomas Way” that promotes classroom-to-classroom collaboration, increases use of computer technology, and drives expectations for what teachers know and are able to do.
Common Core will not prevent California students from performing at varying levels of achievement, but it should ensure more consistency in materials, learning experiences and instructional support. Development of Common Core standards was a state-led effort by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, in collaboration with teachers, parents and other stakeholders nationwide.
The purpose of this web page is to answer many of the questions that Natomas Unified staff, parents or students may have about Common Core, the new state assessments and the district’s initial steps to implement the grade-by-grade standards.