Nevada and the majority of other states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which were developed by governors and chief state school officers, in consultation with higher education faculty and other stakeholders. The Common Core State Standards are a set of academic standards, or learning goals, for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt. The Nevada State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in October 2010.
The standards outline what students should master in each grade and shape curriculum development at each grade level. The standards establish a clear roadmap of academic expectations, so that students, parents, and teachers can work together toward shared goals. The standards are clear, concise, and relevant to the real world, focusing on the knowledge and skills students will need to succeed in life after high school, in both postsecondary education and a globally competitive workforce.
Nevada Common Core State Standards Steering Committee
In June 2013, Governor Brian Sandoval created the Common Core State Standards Steering Committee co-chaired by the Chancellor of NSHE and the Nevada Superintendent for Public Instruction. A copy of the Governor's Executive Order creating the Committee and the posted agendas for the Committee follow:
In 2010, Nevada joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards by the 2014-15 school year. The second multistate consortia is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
At the end of May 2013, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium released sets of example test questions for grades 3–8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The Practice Tests are freely available on the SBAC website: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/.
The Common Core State Standards and Higher Education
The Common Core State Standards are anchored in expectations for college readiness. Higher Education will benefit as students graduate from high school better prepared for college and need less remediation. College students who do not need remediation are also more likely to earn a degree or finish a certification program and at lower costs to themselves and their institutions, which will mean resources for other areas. Higher education faculty will also be able to spend more time going deeper in to complex material with their students.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nevada, the CCSS, and the impact on and role of Higher Education.
CCSS Implementation and NSHE
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is a key partner in the successful implementation of the CCSS in Nevada and is actively participating in many related efforts:
- In July 2013, the Board of Regents adopted a resolution expressing support for and encouraging long-term commitment by the State of Nevada in the adoption and implementation of the CCSS.
- In March 2013, the Board of Regents adopted a new K-12 Alignment policy under Title 4, Chapter 16, Section 2 of the Handbook authorizing institutions to enter into agreements with school districts to provide college readiness programs, including remedial and 100-level courses at a registration fee appropriate to cover at least the costs of the program, including but not limited to the instructor's salary, supplies and equipment needed, and appropriate overhead costs. The registration fee must be approved by the President. Institutions must report annually to the Board on the programs offered, the number of high school students served, and the approved registration fees charged.
- Over the years, individual NSHE institutions have often worked with local school districts in their service areas on various educational issues important to K-12 and postsecondary students. The partnership between UNR, TMCC, and the WCSD to offer college-prep courses in local high schools was highlighted at the June 2013, Board of Regents meeting. Such partnerships may serve as collaboration models for ensuring successful implementation of CCSS throughout the State going forward.
- In 2012, Nevada received the NGA CCSS Postsecondary Collaborative Grant to identify steps necessary for a seamless transition from K-12 into college and careers. Areas of examination under the grant include transition courses and options to help high school seniors who do not meet college-readiness benchmarks under the new assessments based on the CCSS; communication strategies to explain to students, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders the anticipated impact of the more rigorous CCSS and related assessments; and NSHE faculty preparation to understand the value and positive, tangible impact of the CCSS in educating future NSHE students.
- The Colleges, Schools, and Departments of Education within NSHE are actively preparing future teachers in Nevada to teach under the CCSS.
Additional Information on CCSS and Higher Education:
- Common Core State Standards Initiative
- Smarter Balanced Talking Points: Fiction vs Fact (June 2013)
- Inside Higher Education Article: Common Core curriculum for K-12 could have far-reaching effects on higher education
- 2013 February/March Board of Regents Handout
- SBAC – Higher Education FAQ
- SBAC – Higher Education Factsheet
- SBAC – Sample Question Items FAQ
- Nine ways CCSS Change a Classroom
- Faculty Workshop Presentations: