Common Core Standards

The Common Core Standards are national standards that have been adopted by most states. They seek to make U.S. students more competitive with increasingly proficient students from other countries. These standards emphasize teaching math more in-depth, and teaching English and language arts through not just classic books but also through nonfiction, including historical documents and technical manuals. The changes are designed to give students better preparation for college and for the working world.


Significant shifts in language arts education include:

  1. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

  2. Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

  3. Regular practice with complex text and its academic language


Significant shifts in mathematics education include:

  1. Focus:  Focus strongly where the standards focus.

  2. Coherence: Think across grades, and link to major topics

  3. Rigor: In major topics, pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application


In 2010, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The transition to Common Core began during the 2010-2011 school year, with full implementation required by the 2013-14 school year. Hillel Academy has adopted the Common Core Standards and began full implementation in the 2012-13 school year.