The state-led effort to develop the Common Core State Standards was launched in 2009 by state leaders — including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. State school chiefs and governors recognized the value of consistent, real-world learning goals and launched this effort to ensure all students, regardless of where they live, are graduating high school prepared for college, career, and life.
State education standards have been around since the early 1990s, but each state had its own definition of proficiency. This lack of standardization was one reason that states decided to develop the Common Core State Standards.
The standards address what students are expected to know and understand at each grade level from elementary school through high school (K–12 standards), as well as what they should know by the time they graduate from high school (college- and career-readiness standards).
The creation of the standards were informed by:
- The best state standards already in existence;
- The experience of teachers, content experts, states, and leading thinkers; and
- Feedback from the public (nearly 10,000 comments during two public comment periods).