California is one of 45 states switching to the new federal educational benchmarks in English and math known as Common Core Standards. The changes are scheduled for the 2014-15 school year, and implementing them is expected to cost the state over $1 billion. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson kicked off a "Common Core Summer" of training for teachers, but a Gates Foundation poll last year found that 27 percent of teachers nationwide felt unprepared to teach the new standards. Also, critics say tougher standards don't necessarily equal better outcomes, and might even create more difficulties for English Language Learner students. We discuss how the state's Common Core Standards will affect students and schools.
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- More: Common Core State Standards Initiative website