Academic standards have driven instruction and assessments since the mid-1990s. These define what students should know and be able to do. These standards may be defined by organizations or by states.
Over time, concern emerged about the rigor and focus of academic standards used by states. Questions focused on whether they were appropriately high for ensuring that students leaving school were ready for a competitive global market system.
As a result, many states and groups have developed standards designed to ensure that students would be ready for college and career after high school. For example, the National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers worked with several other organizations and states to develop and validate a set of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and Mathematics. The National Research Council subsequently developed a set of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Those states that did not adopt either the CCSS or the NGSS have developed their own college- and career-ready standards.
Students with disabilities, English learners (ELs), and ELs with disabilities, like other students, need to be ready for a competitive global economy when they leave school. Inclusion in college- and career-ready standards is an important part of ensuring that this goal is realized.