"The Common Core standards change all that, focusing on key knowledge students need in a logical sequence. Fourth-grade math, for example, becomes a master class in fractions. Why fractions? They're the key to unlocking the language of algebra. Algebra, in turn, is the gateway to probability, statistics and higher mathematics.
The new standards for reading and writing take a similar, staircase approach through the grades, with students asked to gradually understand more and more challenging texts, and compose arguments based on evidence and research. Students will write less about their feelings, and more about what they can prove - better preparation for both college term papers and reports to the boss.
No one is more crucial to this work than teachers, who will need time and training to replace the old emphasis on rote memorization with new lessons that include student ability to analyze, evaluate, derive and model concepts.....
The right tests are vital as well. Multiple-choice assessments were never designed to measure the deeper learning called for by the Common Core, so we must transition to ones that measure learning in new ways. The new, computer-adaptive tests will include performance tasks and questions that require extended responses. No doubt it will take our students time to learn these new skills, so it's important to remember that test results are meant to provide information about student progress, not a measure of their potential."
For the full article, see "New Common Core standards are right for California."