Common Core State Standards - Michigan Career and College Readiness Standards


Career and College Ready Common Core State StAndards (CCSS)

In the Spring of 2015, Michigan may replace the MEAP and MME with computer adaptive assessments created by the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) (See Memorandum from MDE). Mecosta Osceola ISD has already begun to support our districts' transition of curriculum, instruction, and assessment processes to meet these new expectations. This site is meant to provide resources and information to stakeholders so they are better able to understand the standards and prepare for the coming change in assessments.

What is "Common Core"?

"These standards 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 entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

  • Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based." (CCSS, par. 4)

The standards have been developed by teachers across the country and are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world.  Michigan is one of 45 states that have adopted the CCSS (see Adoption Map). The State Board of Education adopted the standards shortly after their release in June of 2010.

Why is the Common Core important?

Until states began adopting the CCSS, each state had a different set of standards for its student population. Some standards were specific while others were broad, some were lax while others were rigorous. The CCSS ensures that regardless of where a student lives, they will be held to a set of standards that were created with the end goal of getting students prepared for success in the workforce and/or in the college setting. Because students are likely to be assessed against these rigorous standards in the Spring of 2015, teachers need to have a good understanding of the what the standards are and the changes and challenges the standards set forth so they can prepare students to reach these high expectations. Today's first grade students will be the first cohort to be assessed entirely against the CCSS.

What is different about the Common Core?

The ELA and Mathematic CCSS stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels.  Both ELA and Mathematics standards focus students on developing the skills and perseverance to engage in sustained problem solving and research.   The biggest content shifts from Michigan's HSCEs and GLCEs take place in English at the elementary level and in Mathematics at the high school level. 

Key Advances in English Language Arts CCSS

  • Development of an “academic” vocabulary
  • Close reading of increasingly complex text
  • Addition of grades 6-12 standards for reading and writing in history, science and technical subjects to support the increased emphasis on informational text, argument & informative writing and speaking that occurs K-12.
  • A K-12 progression of learning in reading, writing, speaking & listening, and language based on college readiness standards
  • This site contains details about the three major shifts in literacy

Key Advances in Mathematics CCSS

  • Application of mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues
  • Concentrated effort in early grades on the development of a deep conceptual understanding of numbers
  • An expectation of fluency with operations
  • An emphasis at higher grades on mathematical modeling
  • A K-12 progression of learning in algebraic thinking, number operations and systems, geometry, and statistics based on college readiness standards

"These Standards are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business." (CCSS, par.3)

How and when will students be assessed? 

Michigan has joined the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), one of two consortia with grants from the federal government to develop the assessments that states will use to assess students on the Common Core. The first administration of SBAC assessments is scheduled for the spring of 2015 for students in grades 3-11. (see SBAC timeline)

The format of the SBAC assessment will be very different from the traditional multiple choice items found in the MEAP and MME. (see Video) The system will include both formative and summative assessments, and, after a readiness period of two to three years, all assessments will be administered on line. Assessments are being designed to measure the full range of the standards and the full continuum of student performance. The overall assessment system design will include a computer adaptive assessment with a mix of selected-response, constructed response, technology-enhanced items as well as performance-based tasks. The testing window will be the last twelve weeks of the school year. (see SBAC summary) SBAC has a site with released Math and ELA items available for users to preview.

How do these changes affect students with disabilities (SWD) and English language learners (ELL)? 

The Common Core State Standards are standards for ALL students. That means that these two groups of students, who in the past have sometimes/ many times been held to a different set of standards, will now be expected to meet the same standards as every other student. In order to be successful meeting these standards, students will most likely need instruction that looks very different than it did in the past. The documents that speak about the standards as they relate to these two groups of students (SWD documentELL document ) specifically mention the need for teachers to incorporate teaching strategies that help these students succeed in the classroom and use Universal Design for Learning  in their lesson planning. 

Michigan is a committed member of the Dynamic Learning Maps project that is developing an assessment system in conjunction with both SBAC and PARCC to address the needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities. In order to begin the work of creating assessments that align with the common core principles, the group developed the essential elements, a system of the most essential components of the concepts and skills, drawn from grade specific Common Core expectations.

How is Mecosta Osceola ISD preparing districts for the transition to the Common Core?

MOISD staff actively searches out the latest information about the CCSS and the SBAC in order to share that information with its districts. We are involved in a number of ISD consortiums (e.g. Northern Michigan Learning Consortium, General Education Leadership Network, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators) in order to pool resources and avoid a duplication of work as the state moves toward getting students focussed on career and college readiness. These consortiums have produced resources for teachers to use with their students, including:

How can I learn more?



This webpage and content is modeled after Dayton Public Schools by their permission June 2012
Career and College Ready Common Core State Standards by MOISD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Common Core State Standards - Michigan Career and College Readiness Standards



Common Core Implementation Workbook  -  offers district leaders the means to plan for the CCSS and then drive successful implementation.

NEW  Common Core Tool Kit for Principals - structured implementation starters for staff meetings or PLC groups



Common Core Implementation Video Series  - the Hunt Institute for Education has a great video series of explanations of all the changes to expect with the Common Core. The videos are anywhere from 3-12 minutes long depending on the topic.

Professional Learning Opportunities hosted at MOISD


MI Crosswalk/Comparisons

Surveys of Enacted Curriculum  - choose the subject of interest, click submit, find MI and the grade level in the drop down box, then CCSS and the grade level and select update. The grid shows the content covered and the depth to which the standards ask it to be taught.

Michigan Content Expectations / Common Core State Standards Crosswalks - created by MDE. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Math and ELA crosswalks by grade level 

SBAC Assessment

NEW  MDE Assessment Recommendation

Summary -   What are the components of the new assessment, when and how will it be administered?

Timeline - What is happening with the new assessments?

NEW Smarter Balanced Practice Test  - Allow students the opportunity to experience taking SBAC style assessment items online. 

SBAC Sample Items   -  released sample items to prepare for the new assessments in 2014-2015

Parent Resources

What Do Parents Need to Know?  -  4 page overview of the Common Core State Standards specifically for parents.

Parents' Guide to Student Success  - PTA created parent guides in Spanish and English with grade specific Common Core explanations

Classroom Resources 

ELA & Math CCRS materials   - units, lessons and resources from MAISA teacher consultant teams

Michigan College and Career Ready Portal  easy to use website that has links to useful information