The Common Core curriculum is an aggregation of state standards developed for students between kindergarten and grade 12 in the subjects of English literacy and math. The Common Core is not federally mandated, but over 40 states have adopted the standards, as of December 2014.
The Common Core helps educators nationwide make well-formed comparisons of their students' progress by using the same guidelines for every student across the country. Although some opponents suggest that the Common Core appears to create a system that diminishes gifted and talent programs, supporters argue that the new standards aim to create a learning atmosphere in which students at various learning levels have the opportunity to achieve their best. Instructors are also allowed to design the specifics of their classroom curriculum to fit the individual needs of their students.
The Common Core does not create new tests for students. Instead, it replaces some standardized tests. Under these new testing guidelines, teachers are evaluated by their students' scores and not by the scores of the whole school. Teachers, school administrators, parents and educational experts contributed to the development of the Common Core. The standards encourage policymakers at the local and state levels to work together on the development of various educational policies and tools, including changing state testing systems and enhancing the quality of textbooks and teaching materials.