Common Core State Standards

TextProject Research Articles on Common Core State Standards

Knowledge, Literacy, and the Common Core

Much attention has been paid to the call in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS; National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), 2010) for more reading and writing of informational text in the elementary grades. Indeed, in the context of the CCSS, informational text is on even footing with literature—perhaps for the first time ever. It would be possible to respond to the call for more attention to informational texts by simply changing the balance of different text types used for instructional purposes. In this article, we discuss why this approach would miss of the intent of the CCSS and why we should focus attention on using the opportunity of reading more informational text to build students’ disciplinary and world knowledge. We suggest that the critical message of the CCSS is the need to support students in developing knowledge for and through reading.To understand how knowledge should and can be foregrounded in ELA instruction, we develop three points:The increased attention to nonfiction texts in the Common Core stems from the emphasis on knowledge. Knowledge and comprehension are synergistically connected to one another. ELA instruction needs to be multifaceted to ensure that existing knowledge is activated and new knowledge (and ways of gaining new knowledge) is built.

Understanding the Common Core State Standards

P. David Pearson & Elfrieda H. Hiebert

This chapter strives to explain the role and perspective of the newest set of standards, the CCSS, and implications for implementation.


Pearson, P.D., & Hiebert (2013). Understanding the Common Core State Standards. In L. Morrow, T. Shanahan, & K.K. Wixson (Eds.), Teaching with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts: What Educators Need to Know, Grades Pre-K-2 (pp. 1-21). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Download: Pearson-Hiebert-2013-Understanding-the-CCSS

Examining Three Assumptions About Text Complexity

Elfrieda H. Hiebert & Katie Van Sluys

In this chapter, Drs. Hiebert and Van Sluys consider three assumptions about the view of text complexity as operationalized by the CCSS. They are concerned that these assumptions, if left unexamined, could increase the achievement gap, as the standards become part of state and national policies.


Hiebert, E.H., & Van Sluys, K. (2014). Examining three assumptions about text complexity: Standard 10 of the Common Core State Standards. In K.S. Goodman, R.C. Calfee, & Y.M. Goodman (Eds.), Whose knowledge counts in government literacy policies? Why expertise matters (pp. 144-160). New York, NY: Routledge.

Download: Hiebert-Van-Sluys-2014-Examining-Three-assumptions-about-text-complexity