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A growing chorus of state and federal policymakers, large foundations, and business leaders across the country are calling for states to adopt a common, rigorous body of college- and career-ready skills and knowledge in English and mathematics that all K-12 students will be expected to master by the time they graduate. This report looks at the history of efforts to create common education standards, in particular the Common Core State Standards Initiative. It also describes factors California may consider when deciding whether to adopt them. Highlights of this report include: (1) The Common Core is the latest effort to create rigorous, common academic standards among states; (2) California is supporting the concept of common standards, but state law calls for further review and leaves the adoption decision to the State Board of Education; (3) Issues surrounding the adoption include the quality of the Common Core standards and their relationship to the state's current standards as well as costs and other implementation concerns; and (4) Common Core or not, California might decide to review its current standards and expectations for students.

Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Academic Standards, State Legislation, State Standards, Academic Achievement, English Curriculum, Mathematics Achievement

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