by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What Are State Standards?
State standards are guidelines for the knowledge and skills—or
“content”—students should be learning in each grade. Each state sets
its own standards—or “benchmarks”—for core curriculum areas such as
language arts, mathematics, physical education, science, social studies, and
technology. State standards give local school districts specifics for what
teachers should be teaching at each grade level, but the standards do
not give specifics of how they are to meet the objectives of the learning
standards for their students. Other names for state standards include
“grade level expectations,” “academic content standards,” and “curriculum frameworks.”
What Is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?
Currently, each state has its own set of standards for academic skills. There is no continuity between
states. However, there is talk about having national standards, meaning that all of the states would have
the same academic goals for students’ learning. One such initiative is the Common Core State Standards
Initiative which “is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English
language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt” (Common Core State Standards Initiative,
2010). Included in this effort for creating and implementing national standards are experts, teachers,
school administrators, and parents from across the country.
How Do I Find Out More?
Check with your local school(s) for information about grade level expectations for your children.
Also look at the Department of Education Web site in your state in order to find out what the academic
standards are in your state. You can also go to other Web sites which contain links to states’ standards,
for example. For
more information about the Common Core State Standards Initiative, go to http://www.corestandards.org/.