Focusing on Essential Knowledge and Skills

Common standards, linked with rigorous assessments and more effective systems of accountability, can guide stronger math and science instruction for all America students and improve the performance of teachers, schools, and classrooms. They set the bar for all students – from struggling to advanced – to master academically rigorous content and succeed in the global economy.



In the two years since its release, the Opportunity Equation has promoted the goal of excellent, equitable STEM education for all students. This update covers major developments and highlights questions and priorities for the future. MORE



Experts in science education discuss the emerging opportunities of the NRC's "A Framework for K-12 Science Education." MORE


Connecting to Your Work

How can you mobilize to help focus teaching and learning on essential math and science knowledge and skills? Read recommended actions from The Opportunity Equation report. MORE

New designs transform the use of time, money, people, and technology to meet the needs of all students. MORE


Common Core Standards: Why Did States Choose to Adopt?

We hear from: Former Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), Education Commissioners Eric J. Smith (FL) and Mitchell D. Chester (MA), and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Chester Finn. MORE

  • Common-Core Training for Principals on Increase


    After a slow start, the conversation surrounding principal preparation for the Common Core State Standards is growing and deepening. The number of seminars, webinars, and trainings has increased dramatically, leaving administrators to determine which party is offering the best advice and guidance on implementing the new standards.   

  • New Science Standards: Bound for Glory, or Running Behind?


    Author Arthur Camins praises the NRC's "Framework for K-12 Science Education" and the Next Generation Science Standards for the focus on nurturing student interest in the sciences, engaging students in scientific practices, and making connections between science and engineering, rather than the singular goal of acquiring base knowledge for a one-dimensional assessment.   

  • Who Is Writing the 'Next Generation' Science Standards?


    The Next Generation Science Standards are currently available to the public for review and commentary. The development of the science standards is led by 26 states and coordinated by the nonprofit organization Achieve, while a team of scientists and educators are responsible for the actual writing. In his article, Erik Robelen explains the variety of players involved in this process.   

  • Schools try to pull out of science slump


    A draft of the Next Generation Science Standards was released for public commentary on May 11, 2012. 26 states are leading the development process, and a writing team of scientists, science teachers, business leaders, engineers, and state policy staffers is composing the individual standards. Experts believe these standards will drastically shift science teaching and learning.   

  • The National Research Council’s “Framework for K-12 Science Education”: An Opportunity to Transform Science Education

    Experts in science education discuss emerging opportunities of the NRC's "Framework for K-12 Science Education."   

  • Nation's Science Test: Students Show Low Proficiency, Expert Calls Scores 'Unacceptable'


    Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress science test showed a slight improvement among eighth graders nationally. Experts were pleased to see positive movement but acknowledge that more substantial growth is necessary. The NAEP results highlight the opportunity for the Next Generation Science Standards to significantly advance science teaching and learning.   

  • Universities, Districts to Partner on Common-Core Secondary Math


    The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' science- and math-focused initiative is coordinating a new project focused on redesigning secondary math teacher preparation in conjunction with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The universities, community colleges, and school districts range across 30 states.   

  • Individual U.S. Schools Take Part in PISA Pilot


    100 schools across 20 states will administer a pilot test based on the PISA, allowing schools and states to gauge their students' levels in comparison to students around the world. Results -- which may not be made public -- will be available in September.   

  • Big Shifts Ahead for Math Instruction


    The Common Core State Standards in mathematics will drastically change the way that mathematics are taught at every grade level. A select few districts, schools, and teachers are already piloting the standards, pioneering new curricula and lesson plans that will bring the new standards to life.   

  • Call to States: Revolutionize Teacher and Principal Preparation


    At a meeting last week attended by state leadership, Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director Gene Wilhoit discussed the impending implementation of the Common Core State Standards. If states are to effectively integrate these standards into classrooms, they must provide substantial training and supports to teachers.