Learn about the "Common Core"
Standards-based education has become the organizing principle and driving force behind most federal, state, and local education policy in the United States today. It originally arose out of a conviction that expectations for student performance can and should be raised and that specific goals needed to be set if achievement is to be improved. It rests on the belief that all children should have access to more challenging curriculum content and that they should be expected to learn that content at a proficient-to-high level of performance.
This focus on raising academic standards for all students has led to an ambitious agenda for improving schools. Fundamental to that agenda is the expectation that policies can be created to support:
- the establishment of high academic standards and the implementation of curriculum and instruction aligned to those standards;
- an assessment system that measures and sheds light on progress;
- accountability systems that hold educators and policymakers responsible for student achievement; and
- interventions systems that reward progress and provide support for schools that are struggling.
California adopted its first set of academic content standards in 1997 and passed the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA) in 1999. These actions were partly fueled by federal law, passed in 1996, which required states that receive federalfunds to develop standards. The enactment of No Child Left Behind ( ) in 2002 put further pressure on states to do so, and all of them now have.