THE COMMON CORE... explained



What is the Common Core?

The Common Core State Standards are a set of state-led educational standards that contain rigorous expectations for students from K through 12 to become college and career ready.

Who developed the Common Core?

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) in collaboration with parents, teachers, school administrators, and experts from across the country developed the content of the Common Core State Standards.

How were the Common Core Standards developed?

A diverse group of teachers, researchers, and experts examined the highest state standards in the U.S., gathered the best available evidence from research, and examined the standards of the top-performing international nations to develop the Common Core.

How do the Common Core State Standards compare with the previous guidelines?

The Common Core Standards raised the bar to match the highest state standards in the U.S. and were benchmarked to international standards to ensure that our students would be competitive on the global market upon graduation from high school. Having a single set of consistent and more demanding standards helps teachers, parents, and students know exactly what knowledge and skills are expected for the students to acquire, and provides the majority of students in the U.S. the same level of rigor and exposure to evidence-based content regardless of where they live.

Who is affected by the Common Core?

Currently, the majority of the states with exception to Texas, Virginia, Nebraska, and Alaska have adopted the Common Core since 2010. Minnesota adopted the English language arts standard, but has yet to adopt the mathematics standard. In 2013, Indiana was the first state to pass legislation to halt the implementation of the Common Core until further review.

What is the government’s involvement with the Common Core?

There is a misconception that the Common Core is a government-led initiative and the government is setting a national standard. The decision to adopt the Common Core or maintain existing standards still lies within each state. Furthermore, individual school districts, schools, and teachers choose which textbooks to use that best reflect the content of the Common Core. Therefore, the Common Core Standards are state-led and voluntarily adopted standards that reflect what skills and knowledge the students ought to learn, and the superintendents, principals, and teachers decide how the material ought to be taught. However, when the Common Core was first introduced, the government financially endorsed the Common Core proclaiming that the states who adopted the new standards would receive federal Race to the Top grants. This federal endorsement of the Common Core by the Obama administration is what some critics oppose.


Does Eye Level follow the Common Core curriculum?

The Eye Level program covers the majority of the topics included in the mathematics and English language arts Common Core Standards through its distinctive curriculum emphasizing both basic skills and complex applications in critical thinking and problem solving. Topics are introduced in a linear progression, allowing the students to revisit topics as needed. Our program delivers an individualized learning approach based on the students’ abilities, regardless of their age or grade. Therefore, students will encounter the topics at their own unique pace. 

Given that the Common Core math standards were internationally benchmarked to standards from top-performing nations such as Singapore, South Korea, and Japan, the Eye Level program boasts excellence in math instruction with its origins based in Korea. The Common Core’s emphasis on proficiency in basic computational skills coupled with applications in problem solving, critical thinking, and reasoning is similar to the Eye Level math program.

How will Eye Level prepare my child to perform well in school or on the standardized tests given the new standards?

As a supplemental enrichment and remediation program, Eye Level’s primary focus is promoting mastery in the necessary mathematics and English language arts skills students need to succeed in school. Students enrolled in the Eye Level program long term display proficiency in basic math skills, critical thinking, reasoning, reading, and writing that will benefit the students in the era of the Common Core. 

For more information on the Common Core State Standards, please go to the official Common Core website: