In July 2010, the decision was made to craft a set of Pennsylvania Core Standards that were tailored to meet our state’s needs in Mathematics, English Language Arts and Literacy in History and Social Studies. The PA Core Standards are “attainable for students, practicable for teachers and districts, and reflect the organization and design of the PA Academic Standards,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The transition from existing state standards to the PA Core Standards officially took effect on March 1, 2014. The transition impacted curriculum and instruction in PA schools. The new standards emphasize the importance of college and career readiness rather than just high school completion. Students will now graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.  The PA Core Standards are critical to Pennsylvania’s economic development and are an important step towards building a stronger workforce in Pennsylvania.

Some other components of the PA Core Standards include:

  • A more balanced mix of fiction and nonfiction reading materials for elementary and high school students;
  • A requirement that students master content – requiring teachers to engage students more rather than lecture;
  • Grade levels covering fewer topics but going into greater depth with topics that are being covered.

Read more about Pennsylvania Core Standards, curriculum, rigor and what they mean for you.