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What Legislators Should Know

The Montana Common Core Standards are higher and clearer than our previous standards and provide a grade-by-grade pathway that gives all students an opportunity for a high quality education. The grade level expectations allow parents to know how their child is doing in school and trust the information. The new standards focus on developing critical thinking skills and applying what students are learning to the real world. Additionally, the Montana Common Core Standards set an expectation that students graduating from high school will be capable of successfully completing first-year college courses.

The new, higher English standards ask students to read more non-fiction, to talk and write using evidence to support their arguments and seek to expand students’ vocabulary. The Montana Common Core Standards make it the responsibility of teachers in every subject area to assist in improving students’ literacy skills.

The new, higher math standards ask students to develop a deep understanding of math concepts that goes beyond memorization. Students will be given the time to master each math concept before moving on to another concept. Students will also be asked to apply math to real-world situations.
The Montana Board of Public Education adopted the Montana Common Core Standards in November 2011.

Resources:
FAQs about the Montana Common Core Standards
Frequently Asked Questions about the Smarter Balanced Assessment

Webinar: Montana’s New English and Math Standards (14 min)

Smarter Balanced Assessment
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a multi-state organization working together to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college and career readiness. Montana will use the Smarter Balanced assessment for state and federal accountability purposes beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.