The Common Core Standards are like a warehouse, chock-full of the very best basic ingredients for a well-rounded, good-tasting, healthy diet. How schools and teachers use these basic ingredients (core standards) is up to them. They can use any recipes they want to cook up good, nutritious meals (lessons). Common Core is just the place where they find the basic foods, essential vitamins, minerals, sugar, and spice (common core standards) they need to prepare the meals (learning) on which students will thrive.
The standards set up a coherent progression of skills and knowledge that students should learn as they move through school. Concepts build naturally on skills and learning mastered in class the previous year. For instance, kindergarteners will work on recognizing the shape and sounds of letters, while eighth graders will work on building vocabulary and reading fluency. One skill will build upon another in a logical, sequential pattern based on research connected with learning readiness and common sense.
Here are some resources to help you learn more about the standards and their impact:
Thompson School District "Family Guide to Student Success"
http://www.thompson.k12.co.us/cms/lib/CO01900772/Centricity/Domain/1251/FamilyGuideSuccess.pdfEnglish-language arts standards and the math standards at the Common Core web site:
National PTA “Parents’ Guide to Student Success:”
http://pta.org/parents/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2583Parent "Road Maps" to the Common Core Standards in English and Math