State Learning Standards

What is Common Core?​Washington state’s learning standards are concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education in math and English language arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

The rigorous standards are designed to prepare students for the college and careers of tomorrow, building a stronger workforce and economy.

STANDARDS PROVIDE CONSISTENT GOALS AND A ROADMAP TO SUCCESS

State standards set goals for the knowledge and skills a student needs to be ready for college and work.

  • ​Standards are the goals and expectations for students’ learning at each grade level.
  • Meeting the standard in one grade or course level prepares the student for what they will learn in the next grade or course, such as Algebra I to Algebra II.
  • The standards are the same for K-12 students at each grade level in all the participating states. This helps students who relocate frequently, including children of military families, keep up with their counterparts.

​​​STANDARDS AREN’T NEW, ESPECIALLY IN TACOMA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

There have been state standards for what students should know for decades.

  • ​Learning standards – what students need to know at each grade level – have been in use in Washington for a long time, but the standards have changed multiple times over the years as state educational leaders and elected officials change expectations.
  • Teachers in our district began using the new English language arts and math standards during the 2013-2014 school year.

THE S​​TANDARDS SET A HIGH BAR

These standards are challenging, but achievable. They will help our students remain competitive with students from other countries.

  • ​The English language arts standards require students to spend more time reading and analyzing nonfiction. They also expect students to make clear, well-supported arguments and write with increased vocabulary.
  • In math, students work more deeply in fewer topics and must prove their understanding and use math in real-world situations.

STUD​​ENTS WILL BE BETTER PREPARED FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

  • ​Students learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills that apply to real life, instead of random facts.
  • All students prepare for college and career success, which makes them more employable whether they choose to go to college or not.
  • Graduating students will have the education necessary to choose the path they wish to take.

​Examples of state l​​​earning standards

​​

GRADE 3

English language arts: Read different kinds of texts at grade level; compare and contrast ideas among texts; plan, revise and edit writing.
Math: Learn about fractions; add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers through 100.
 

GRA​​DE 7

English language arts: Identify the central idea of a text, produce clear and coherent writing in various styles, share research presentations.
Math: Learn about proportional relationships and solve multi-step problems involving positive and negative numbers, fractions and decimals.
 

GRAD​E 11

English language arts: Evaluate and draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.
Math: Model real-world phenomena, compare simple and complex functions, and learn about congruence, similarity and symmetry through geometric transformations.