Eureka Union
School District

California Content Standards (Common Core Standards)

State education standards have been around since the early 1990s, thus the implementation of content standards are by no means new. By the early 2000s, every state had developed and adopted its own learning standards specifying the content knowledge and skills that K-12 students should be learning in every classroom.  However, since every state developed its own standards via different processes, every state also had its own definition of proficiency or competency, defined as the level at which a student is determined to be sufficiently educated at each grade level (  The decision to develop a common set of standards across states was one of the reasons why states came together to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2009.

Development of the standards were guided by several criteria, among them: 

  • Comparison with the best state standards already in existence in top-performing nations
  • Developmental pathways of learners across time
  • The experience of teachers, content experts, and leading thinkers
  • Feedback from the public
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In 2010, after an extensive review process, California adopted the Common Core State Standards.  The state believes that  having the same standards nation-wide helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. For a description of the significant events that characterized California's adoption process, click HERE.  

California Content Standards - CCSS ELA

The CCSS-ELA is broken into four big literacy domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.  These same domains are reflected in the computer-based CAASPP assessments that all students take in Grades 3-8. 

Each ELA domain aligns with anchor standards that specific the college and career-ready skill expectations from students when they graduate high school.  To access these anchor standards for each of the domains, click HERE

Here are some of the critical features of the California Content Standards in ELA:

  • Balanced treatment of non-fiction and literary texts (with increasing attention to non-fiction texts in the higher grades)
  • Access (for all) to more cognitively-challenging texts
  • Increased emphasis on the importance of academic conversations (speaking and listening skills)
  • Incorporation of a more integrated model of literacy
  • Blending of research, media and visual literacy skills
  • Shared responsibility for students’ for skills mastery 

California Content Standards - CCSS Math

The CCSS Math standards consist of two big domains - the content standards which identify the knowledge and skills that all students should learn in the classroom, and the mathematical practices that specify habits and attitudes that mathematics scholars should possess to be truly proficient.  Like the CCSS ELA standards, every grade level math standard maps out to anchor standards.  These anchor standards specify what college and career-ready students should know and be able to do.  Click HERE to explore CCSS-Math.
There are some notable shifts in CCSS-Mathematics:
  • Greater focus on fewer topics
  • Coherence: Linked topics and thinking across grades
  • Rigor: Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and
    application with equal intensity
The California Standards for Mathematics are internationally benchmarked, i.e. they have been developed from a study of the standards that high performing nations (Singapore, Japan, China) have.  

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