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Common Core State StandardsStandards Are Not a Curriculum
The Core Knowledge Foundation supports the Common Core State Standards Initiative and is committed to helping ensure their successful implementation in schools nationwide. The standards represent “a not-to-be missed opportunity for the nation to begin catching up in verbal achievement,” noted E. D. Hirsch, Jr., the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation.
Adopted by nearly every state in the U.S., the Common Core Standard for English Language Arts & Literacy note that “building knowledge systematically in English language arts is like giving children various pieces of a puzzle in each grade that, over time, will form one big picture.” The standards emphasize the importance of students reading texts across disciplines and building a foundation of knowledge that will give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. By stressing that “students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades,” the standards echo and support the work of the Core Knowledge Foundation.
It is important to note that the terms "standards" and "curriculum" are often—and erroneously—used as synonyms for one another. Standards define what children should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. A curriculum, like the Core Knowledge Sequence, describes what children need to learn to meet those standards.
The Common Core State Standards leave curriculum decisions to the states, but the message is clear: Successful implementation of the new standards depends on a coherent, specific, and content-rich curriculum.