The Common Core State Standards and English Learners: A Resource Page

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an initiative in the United States launched by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) to develop common content standards for states to use in elementary and secondary education. The CCSS mathematics and English language arts (ELA) standards were publicly released in 2011, with full implementation expected by the 2014-15 academic year.

This page contains resources on CCSS, particularly on how implementing the CCSS will affect prek-12 ESL teachers and their students. New resources will be added as they become available.

Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues. If you would like to contribute a resource, please contact John Segota, TESOL's associate executive director of public policy and professional relations.

  • Implementing the CCSS for ELLs: The Changing Role of ESL Teachers (April 2013): TESOL convened a meeting in February to discuss how implementing the CCSS will affect ESL teachers and their students. The meeting included 30 ESL teachers, administrators, policy makers, and thought leaders from Maryland and the District of Columbia. This document provides an overview of the meeting and a summary of the group's findings.

  • TESOL Issue Brief: Overview of the CCSS for ELLs (March 2013): Confused about CCSS? This document can help. It provides a brief history of the CCSS within the context of U.S. education reform.

  • TESOL Connections Special Issue on the CCSS (December 2012): Written by experts, teachers, and TESOL staff, these articles will help you better understand the CCSS and how it will affect ESL teachers and their students.

    For a longer list of resources, please click the link to the special issue. To contribute to TESOL Connections, please contact the editor, Tomiko Breland.

    • A Glance at the CCSS: Two experienced educators discuss what U.S. teachers can look ahead to in the coming years regarding the Common Core State Standards for math and language arts.

    • CCSS: What's Happening for ELLs?: Since the inception of the CCSS, several major initiatives have begun to address the needs of ELLs as they relate to the CCSS and the role of English language proficiency.

    • Standards that Impact ELLs: Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner and John Segota discuss language proficiency and ELLs, and the relationship between different sets of standards and the CCSS.

    • Blending Common Core and TESOL Standards for ELLs: Read a snapshot of both the Common Core State Standards and the TESOL English Language Proficiency Standards, and learn about how the Common Core State Standards can be supported and guided by TESOL's standards for the academic success of your English language learners.

    • TESOL and the Next Generation Science Standards: The Next Generation Science Standards are being developed and will soon be piloted in 26 states. The Standards add a dimension of learning for all children that provide a context for understanding science and language. Learn about the Standards and how they connect to English language teaching.

  • Understanding Language: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas: This initiative, from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, "aims to heighten educator awareness of the critical role that language plays in the new Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards" and to "improve education for all students—especially English Language Learners. To that end, we are synthesizing knowledge and developing resources that help ensure teachers can meet their students' evolving linguistic needs as the new Standards are implemented." Visit the website for the latest research, news, teaching resources, and policy statements.