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

  • A Trial Run for School Standards That Encourage Deeper Thought


    Forty-two states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have signed on to the new standards, an ambitious set of goals that go beyond reading lists and math formulas to try to raise the bar not only on what students in every grade are expected to learn, but also on how teachers are expected to teach.   

  • ASCD to Launch Teaching Resources for Common Core


    With $3 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ASCD announced that it will survey teachers and use their feedback to design tools for implementing Common Core standards.   

  • Website Unveils Students' Science Misconceptions


    A new website launched by the American Association for the Advancement of Science may help teachers, education researchers, and test developers improve ways to assess middle and high school students in science achievement, and debunk common misconceptions about scientific theory, experts said.   

  • Governor Signs Rigorous Education Standards into Law


    Maine is 42nd state to approve Common Core state standards, allowing schools and teachers to plan their curriculum.   

  • PTA Issues Common-Standards Guides for Parents


    The National PTA released grade-by-grade parent guides for the standards at the K-8 levels and one each, in English and math, at the high school level.   

  • State Snapshots of NAEP Science Performance Now Available in ERIC


    Results of the science assessment from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released in late January. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools volunteered to participate and contributed to results for the nation at grades 4 and 8.   

  • Common-Assessment Consortia Expand Plans


    Two groups of states that are designing assessments for the new set of common academic standards have expanded their plans to provide instructional materials and professional development to help teachers make the transition to the new learning goals.   

  • New NAEP in Technology, Engineering Expected in 2014


    The producers of the "nation's report card" are planning to introduce a brand-new national exam in "technology and engineering literacy."   

  • Setting a Higher Bar for Our Children


    The founder and organizer of the USA Science & Engineering Festival discusses how high standards and expectations exert powerful influences upon students.   

  • National Science Test Scores Disappoint


    Data provided a sobering snapshot of scientific performance in U.S. schools early in the 21st century.