Common Core evolved as academic standards that apply specifically to English language and arts and mathematics. Defined as learning goals by the State Standards Initiative, Common Core standards stipulate the type of knowledge students should know and master by the end of each grade level.
Common Core standards include aligning curriculum with career and college expectations; mastering knowledge with higher-order critical thinking skills; teaching consistent, clear and understandable content; adhering to state-standardized testing lessons; and offering evidence- and research-based curriculum. The standards are based both on content and skill-based learning. Common Core standards apply to students enrolled from kindergarten through twelfth grade.