For over twenty years, academic content standards have been a part of Oregon’s educational landscape. Every state in the union has their own set of standards, specific learning targets at every grade level in content areas such as science, math, reading, writing, social studies and the arts. Over the past several years, the Council of Chief State School Officers (state superintendents of education), has been working to create a set of national standards. Referred to as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Oregon has joined with the majority of states to adopt these standards in English, language arts and math. Sherwood schools are transitioning to these standards, which will be assessed in the spring of 2015 (these assessments will be in lieu of what you now know as OAKS tests). Research is being done at the national level to create standards in other content areas as well.
This is a positive step for the educational community, especially for schools in Oregon. The CCSS require increased academic rigor and are better aligned with challenging international standards, ensuring our students are prepared to compete globally. With a similar set of standards throughout the United States, textbooks and other curriculum resources will be developed for one set of standards. Smaller states, such as Oregon, will not have to adapt resources to align them with their individual standards.