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    Common Core

    by Nicole Fruge posted April 24, 2012
    Arnett Elementary first grade students Nathaniel Bernard, left, Matt Pittaluga, center, and Nathan Hammond read books on the classroom floor, while other students selected their own reading materials. The Kentucky school is using a system of "learning targets" to quickly access students' progress. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary first grade students Nathaniel Bernard, left, Matt Pittaluga, center, and Nathan Hammond read books on the classroom floor, while other students selected their own reading materials. The Kentucky school is using a system of "learning targets" to quickly access students' progress. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Nena Hupp helps Chase Toler in her class at Worthington Elementary School. Students in the Howard County, Md., district are being taught math concepts at an earlier age.  —Stephen Voss for Education Week

    Nena Hupp helps Chase Toler in her class at Worthington Elementary School. Students in the Howard County, Md., district are being taught math concepts at an earlier age. —Stephen Voss for Education Week

    Third graders work on consonant blends and digraphs with their teacher, Gretchen Highfield. “I’m always thinking about how what we talked about in social studies can be emphasized in reading,” Ms. Highfield says. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Third graders work on consonant blends and digraphs with their teacher, Gretchen Highfield. “I’m always thinking about how what we talked about in social studies can be emphasized in reading,” Ms. Highfield says. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary kindergarten teacher Vickie Rowland points out an issue to a student during student assessments. Rowland tracks a student's progress through these assessments. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary kindergarten teacher Vickie Rowland points out an issue to a student during student assessments. Rowland tracks a student's progress through these assessments. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary 2nd grader Jalynn Miller explains a subtraction problem to Makaya Sims, left, while Ms. Ball and David Butler observe. Teachers at the school in the Erlanger-Elsmere district are asking students to help design their “learning targets.” —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary 2nd grader Jalynn Miller explains a subtraction problem to Makaya Sims, left, while Ms. Ball and David Butler observe. Teachers at the school in the Erlanger-Elsmere district are asking students to help design their “learning targets.” —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Students work on their math skills in Nena Hupp's kindergarten class at Worthington Elementary School in Ellicott City, Maryland.  —Stephen Voss for Education Week

    Students work on their math skills in Nena Hupp's kindergarten class at Worthington Elementary School in Ellicott City, Md. —Stephen Voss for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary second grade student Sydney Davis rubs her eyes while Ryan Schooler raises his hand to ask a question. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary second grade student Sydney Davis rubs her eyes while Ryan Schooler raises his hand to ask a question. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary kindergarten pupils play in groups of four during class time. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary kindergarten pupils play in groups of four during class time. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary 4th grader Kyleigh Johnson works on a practice test in language arts. Social studies and science teachers are also responsible for teaching the subject in Kentucky. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Arnett Elementary 4th grader Kyleigh Johnson works on a practice test in language arts. Social studies and science teachers are also responsible for teaching the subject in Kentucky. —Pat McDonogh for Education Week

    Students gather around a game of battle tops during recess at Robert Kerr Elementary School in Durand, Mich. The school recently adopted the common-core standards, which emphasize higher-level thinking, wondering, questioning, and partnering with other students. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Students gather around a game of battle tops during recess at Robert Kerr Elementary School in Durand, Mich. The school recently adopted the common-core standards, which emphasize higher-level thinking, wondering, questioning, and partnering with other students. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Teala Patterson, a 3rd grader, works on a reading lesson at Robert Kerr Elementary in Durand, Mich. Teachers there have discarded some of their old practices and picked up new ones as they strive to get their students to master the standards. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Teala Patterson, a 3rd grader, works on a reading lesson at Robert Kerr Elementary in Durand, Mich. Teachers there have discarded some of their old practices and picked up new ones as they strive to get their students to master the standards. —Brian Widdis for Education Week

    Nearly every state has signed on to use the Common Core State Standards as a framework for teaching English/language arts and mathematics to students. Translating them for the classroom, however, requires schools, teachers, and students to change the way they approach teaching and learning. Our Common Core report examines the progress some states have made in implementing the standards, what preparations need to be undertaken, and the challenges that policymakers and educators face in achieving the goals of the standards. Photographers Pat McDonogh, Stephen Voss, and Brian Widdis documented the ways schools in Kentucky, Maryland, and Michigan are adopting these new standards in their curriculum.

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