Many people are unsure about what the Common Core is. This article is meant to answer that question, along with a few of the most frequently asked questions about these learning standards that are being implemented across the United States. Whether you have a job interview that requires knowledge of the standards or are a parent evaluating school options, these questions will help you get a better grasp of the basics of Common Core. The standards aim to ensure that all students will have an equal opportunity for an education. Until Common Core, every state had its own standards. This meant that students in the same grade level, from all across the country, could be expected to learn and achieve at different levels. Common standards among the states help to ensure that students will receive a more consistent education from state to state. Overall, this prepares students with the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers. The Common Core State Standards are designed to present a clear understanding of what students are supposed to be learning in school. These standards provide parents and teachers more clarity about what is expected of student learning across America. School administrators, teachers and parents from across America are leading the State Standards Initiative, along with the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) and the NGA Center (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices). Across the country, these experts are joining together to develop and implement the Common Core State Standards. Will These Standards Keep Teachers from Deciding What or How to Teach? The Common Core State Standards are meant to be a tool to provide teachers with an outline of what their students should know by the end of the school year. Teachers can look at these standards to figure out the skills their students should have, then build their strategies and lessons upon that. Teachers can continue to tailor their instruction based upon their students’ needs, and local school boards will continue to make decisions about the curriculum. No. Having a common set of standards among the states does not mean more tests. It just provides states with a better test. Now each state can pool its resources and come up with a set of high-quality tests for all students. The Common Core State Standards provide teachers with goals to ensure their students will be successful in school and after graduation. These standards give teachers the opportunity to have their input on whether students are learning according to the standards. Each state will measure how well the standards are working out and guide educators with strategies designed to meet students’ needs.