National Writing Project

Educators Invited to Respond to Common Core State Standards

Date: March 15, 2010

Summary: The public is invited to comment on the first public draft of the Common Core State Standards, which define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in academic college courses and in workforce training programs.


On March 10, 2010, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) released the first public draft of the Common Core State Standards to include grade-by-grade delineation.

This document extends an earlier draft, released in the fall, which offered a smaller set of "higher, fewer, clearer standards" defining college- and career-readiness. The grade-by-grade delineation was a particular request of the 51 states and territories considering adoption of the standards.

With this release, CCSSO opens what many believe will be the final comment period for the standards. Public comment, which can address the standards in general or can respond to particular standards, is invited through April 2 at the Common Core State Standards Initiatives website . A final version is expected later in the spring.

The NWP strongly urges all educators to read and respond to the draft by April 2.

Literacy and the Core Standards

Writing is covered in the 62-page English/language arts document, which includes traditional language arts content—speaking, listening, reading, and writing—and also provides comment about literacy achievement in history/social studies and science. The document aims to

lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. . . . Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and online. They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews. They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who master the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.

The draft document then continues to break down higher-level standards into grade-by-grade targets for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. It also includes illustrative text selections and samples of student writing drawn from across the United States.

In the course of developing the standards, various iterations were released for public comment, made available to professional organizations and responder states, and reviewed by a validation committee of scholars and specialists.

NWP Involvement

NWP Board Member P. David Pearson served on the validation committee and numerous teacher-consultants participated in state review processes. In addition, members of the NWP staff and local sites provided feedback throughout.

Several NWP directors and teacher-consultants served in important roles through review processes organized by the National Council of Teachers of English. Jeff Williams, chair of the review team for the Common Core State Standards for K-12, has described the process of review in An Open Letter to NCTE Members about the Release of the Public Draft of the Common Core State Standards for K-12 English Language Arts . In that letter, he also provides links to the comprehensive and specific feedback NCTE provided at different points in the response process.

Respond to the Common Core Standards

Click on this link to access and read your own copy of the Common Core Standards and respond to the survey. This survey allows you to rate the standards on various points such as clarity. A second option, which NWP recommends, allows you to make more specific suggestions about the standards.

Related Resource Topics

© 2023 National Writing Project