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Huntington Beach Union High School District

Planning Guide » Common Core Guide for Parents

Common Core Guide for Parents

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. - Corestandards.org

On this site you will find a list of useful links to the extensive information that has been posted about Common Core, specifically documents that related to parents and guardians of current and future students, so that you can understand what the Common Core is and what it will mean for your student.

If you have specific questions that have not been addressed in these documents or you have a like of your own to suggest please send an email to the contact address that’s listed in the upper right.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

You will often see the Common Core State Standards abbreviated as CCSS or CC in documentation.

PTA Common Core Information

Special Ed

  • CCSS Recourses for Special Education
    The California Department of Education Special Education Common Core site. On this page you will find a tab for Parents and Students that contains a list of documents and links that are related to CCSS and Special Education.

Other Links

Myths and Facts

MYTH: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS REQUIRED CALIFORNIA TO ADOPT COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

California voluntarily chose to adopt the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts and California's new core standards in these two subject areas. The Federal Government has never reviewed a state's standards, and they have not reviewed these standards. These standards were the results of a state-led effort by the National Governors' Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The state-led effort also is evident in the fact that not every state has adopted these standards. Each state reviewed these standards and made its own decision.

MYTH: STATES MUST ADOPT THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IF THEY ACCEPTED FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDING, RACE TO THE TOP GRANTS OR RECEIVED A FEDERAL WAIVER FORM NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

No state is required to adopt the Common Core State Standards. In August 2010 California State Board of Education chose to adopt these new standards because we know how critical it is to raise academic standards for all students. The U.S. Department of Education has tried to provide insentive for states to raise their academic standards in core subject areas through Race to the Top grants and the federal waivers from No Child Left Behind. To date, California has not received any federal funding to implement these new standards. In addition, states like Virginia received a No Child Left Behind waiver even though they chose not to adopt the Common Core State Standards. No requirement exists. The adoption of standards remains a state-level decision.

MYTH: THESE NEW STANDARDS WILL TEACH COMMUNISM, INDOCTRINATE OUR CHILDREN WITH A LEFTIST AGENDA AND CHANGE THE WAY SCHOOLS TEACH THE HISTORY OF HOW 9/11 OCCURRED

These are academic standards in mathematics and English language arts. California has no changed the academic standards in history, or social studies. California has only added literacy standards in other subject areas so students will learn to read, analyze, and write in any subject matter or career field they choose. The new standards are available online here.

MYTH: THESE STANDARDS WILL DUMB DOWN EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA

The original California standards for mathematics and English language arts were some of the highest standards in the country. The rationale for adopting the Common Core State Standards was to prepare students with the 21st century skills. The new standards equip students for critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration. California's colleges and universities have told us that students who graduate with mastery in these standards will be prepared for the rigors of the post-secondary education and the workforce. These standards were developed so they are comparable with any other state in the nation and with the standards of any other country in the world.

MYTH: BECAUSE CALIFORNIA ADOPTED THESE NEW STANDARDS, IT MUST UPLOAD STUDENT IDENTIFIABLE DATA INTO A NATIONAL DATABASE, INCLUDING DETAILS SUCH AS FAMILY INCOME, FAMILY RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION, AND PARENT'S EDUCATION LEVEL AND BIO-METRIC DATA (IRIS SCANS, DNA, AND FINGERPRINTS) FROM STUDENTS

These are academic standards that set goals for what each student should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. When California adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts in 2010, the state only adopted these content standards. The state did not adopt any other policies to go along with these standards. These standards are in no way tied to the way data is collected at the state or local level. California implemented a statewide longitudinal data system as outlined in Education Code sections 49084 and 60900 in September 2002 to streamline data collection processes at the state and local levels. That was eight years before the state chose to adopt these new content standards. California's statewide longitudinal data system is not tied to a national database in any way. Neither the state nor local school districts collect data on things like religious affiliation, nor do we have the technology to collect biometric data on students.

MYTH: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CHANGED FERPA TO REQUIRE THE COLLECTION OF BIOMETRIC DATA ON STUDENTS AND ALLOW THIS DATA TO BE RELEASED PUBLICLY

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students in the public education system. This law only contains policies to protect the privacy of students. It does not mandate the collection of any data. The only changes that have been made to the law in recent years reflect changes in technology and data collection to ensure the continued privacy of students. FERPA is available online here. On page 4, you will see that the law now lists an official definition of a "biometric record." The law only lists this definition in the event that a local school or district is collecting this type of data. In that case, as you can see on page 6, FERPA clearly defines a biometric record as "personally identifiable information" so that, as stated on pages 12-13, no personally identifiable information can be released without the consent of a parent or guardian. This only applies to local school districts or states that collect this type of data. It is a completely local and/or state decision on whether or not to collect this data. In California, we do not collect biometric data on students. These standards are not related to data collection in any way.

MYTH: THESE NEW STANDARDS WILL DEEMPHASIZE LITERATURE LIKE HUCKLEBERRY FINN, AND HISTORICAL TEXTS, SUCH AS THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

These standards actually emphasize reading and writing skills across all subject areas, not just in English language arts classrooms. Students will continue to read classic literature and other types of fiction in English class as well as non-fiction and informational text. In addition, the standards include literacy standards for history, science and other subject areas to make sure reading and writing are emphasized outside of English class as well. Local school districts still choose the texts that are taught in every classroom, not the state. In this way, the new standards ensure students in public high schools receive a well-rounded education in learning both literary texts as well as informational texts. The business community in California and across the country has told us that students need to be prepared to read, write and analyze informational texts before they graduate from high school. We know this is a critical skill in the workforce and have to make sure California students are prepared to meet it.

MYTH: THE ADOPTION OF THESE NEW STANDARDS WILL ELIMINATE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTIONS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION

These are academic standards that set goals for what each student should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. These standards are in no way tied to school choice options. Every public school, including schools of choice, will teach these new standards beginning next school year.

MYTH: THESE NEW STANDARDS WERE DEVELOPED BY PRIVATE INTEREST GROUPS BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

The new standards were developed by states. Critics point to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor's Association (NGA) as "private interest groups," but these groups are actually two state-led organizations that were asked by their members – state education chiefs and governors – to facilitate the state-led effort.

MYTH: STATES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE STANDARDS AFTER THEY ADOPT THEM

These are California Common Core Standards, and California is ultimately in control of these standards. Each state has the flexibility to add on to these standards if it sees fit. California, for example, opted to add additional standards in the English language arts core strands of language, writing, speaking and listening.

MYTH: THIS EFFORT WILL LEAD TO A NATIONAL CURRICULUM BECAUSE STANDARDS DRIVE CURRICULUM

Nothing in the Common Core State Standards discusses or requires a national curriculum. In California, the state sets academic standards, or the goals for what each child should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. Local school districts and public charter schools will determine the best curriculum to help the teachers in their schools teach these new academic standards. However, it remains up to each local school district to select curriculum, not the state or federal government.

Common Core at HBUHSD