Common Core State Standards:
Preparing Students for College and Careers

What are the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State Standards, adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in 2010, define grade-level expectations from kindergarten through high school for what students should know and be able to do in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics to be successful in college and careers.

Watch a 6-minute introduction to the New Jersey Common Core State Standards. 
Watch a brief introduction to the New Jersey Common Core State Standards. 

How were the Common Core State Standards developed?

The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards with the participation of educators, curriculum experts, school administrators and higher education faculty. The standards have been voluntarily adopted by a majority of the states.

Explore the standards and learn more about the development of the standards at corestandards.org

What are the benefits of the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State Standards prepare students to succeed in college course work and future employment. The standards:

  • Set clear and consistent standards for every student;
  • Foster students' development of critical thinking skills and ability to solve real-world problems rather than memorize facts;
  • Are benchmarked to academic standards from the highest performing countries;
  • Are the same standards that students will be tested on when they take the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. 

Are the Common Core State Standards a curriculum?

The standards are not a curriculum. The Common Core State Standards define what students are expected to know and be able to do. In New Jersey, local school districts have the responsibility to develop curricula that will assist teachers in ensuring that students meet the Common Core State Standards. All decisions regarding textbooks, reading lists, and lesson plans continue to be made at the local level.  

To search standards-based classroom resources, organized by subject and grade, visit the New Jersey Educator Resource Exchange.

Did New Jersey have state standards prior to the Common Core State Standards?

New Jersey has had state standards since the 1990s in nine subject areas, known as the Core Curriculum Content Standards. The New Jersey State Board of Education voluntarily adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 to replace the previous English language arts and mathematics standards.

For more information on implementation of the Common Core State Standards, please see the New Jersey Common Core Fact Sheet.