4 Important Facts for Parents to Know About State Standards

by Cassie Hegarty

            Those of you who have received our box know that in each box we include the standards that each hands-on activity covers, and we are proud of this!

            But, some of you may be asking “what are standards?”, “why are standards important?”, “should I know the standards that my child is learning?”

            Today we have provided you with some answers to those questions and why knowing and teaching to standards is the most comprehensive way to ensure that your child remains on track academically and is successful in the future.

What are standards?

            Standards spell out what students are expected to learn in each grade and each subject. Each state Department of Education creates standards for schools within the state. These standards become the basis for the way teachers are trained, what they teach and what is on state standardized tests that students take. In more recent years, most states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which are national standards across all grade levels and disciplines. For example, a first-grade math standard may state that by the end of first grade students are expected to count by 2s, 5s and 10s to 100.

Why are standards important?

            Without standards, districts and schools don’t have goals to shoot for. By matching what is taught in the classroom to the standards in each subject area, students (and their parents and teachers) will know what teachers should be teaching, what students should be learning and what they will be tested on.

Should I know the standards my child is being taught?

            The short answer is yes. It is always good to have an idea of what your child should be accomplishing in each grade level. That way, you are able to assess, through everyday interactions, how well they understand certain concepts. We all learned in 2020 that it is vital to have a pulse on what your child is learning in school so that we can be prepared if we ever need to take over. It is a good idea to have a general knowledge of the concepts your child needs to know in each grade level.

Where can I find the standards?

            As stated earlier, most states' public schools follow the national Common Core State Standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (which lists the Science and Engineering standards). There are a few states (Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia) that do not follow the Common Core Standards. They have created their own lists of standards, but the concepts they suggest to be taught in each grade level are very similar. Follow THIS LINK to find the Common Core State Standards and follow THIS LINK to find the Next Generation Science Standards

Being as knowledgeable about what your child is learning and when they are set to learn these standards will not only be a benefit to them, but will empower you as a parent. Check out the standards that we linked to this post and find out what your child needs to know!