The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a state-led initiative to ensure that students leave school with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in college and in their careers. The resulting changes to the expectations of arts educators can be profound. AEP is providing this (ever-growing) selection of resources to help AEP Partner Organizations, arts educators, school leaders, and policymakers develop a better understanding of the Common Core and what the movement means for the arts.


Common Core State Standards Initiative – The home site for the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) provides a strong baseline of information for those interested in learning more about the Common Core. Selected resources from this site include:


The Common Core State Standards: Insight into Their Development and Purpose (June 2014) – A report from David Conley, Common Core State Standards Validation Committee Co-Chair, and CCSSO providing insight into the development process and purpose of the Common Core State Standards.

The Common Core FAQ (May 2014) – An FAQ on the Common Core from the National Public Radio Education Team.

CEP Common Core Research and Reports – A collection of research and reports from the Center on Education Policy covering various topics related to the Common Core. New reports are added periodically as they are released.

Critical Thinking is the Key: The Common Core Explained – A presentation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation providing an overview of the Common Core and explaining how the standards aim to improve education.

Common Core State Standards 101 (August 2013) – A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education that gives an overview of the Common Core State Standards and addressing misconceptions about them.

VIDEO: Explaining the Common Core State Standards (October 2012) – A quick three minute video providing an overview of the CCSS.

VIDEO: Common Core State Standards: A New Foundation for Student Success (September 2011) – A short video from The Hunt Institute on the history and development of the CCSS.

VIDEO: Bringing the Common Core to Life (April 2011) – A presentation by David Coleman for the New York State Department of Education which provides an overview of Common Core and how it might be implemented within the classroom. Available here is the ability to stream or download the video, or download a transcript of the event.


Common Core Works – This website resource bank from the Council of the Great City Schools provides resources on common core and how the standards directly impact inner city education.

Parents’ Guides to Student Success (2013) – The Parents’ Guides to Student Success are a set of resources from the National PTA developed by teachers, parents, and education experts in response to the Common Core.

Teaching Channel Resources – A collection of Common Core resources for educators from Teaching Channel’s website.

Open Educational Resources Commons: Common Core – A resource site providing a wide range of resources for understanding and implementing the CCSS.

EduCore – A site providing a wide range of resources and information regarding the “history, adoption, concepts, and uses” of the Common Core State Standards.


CCSS Forward – Developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), this site provides resources and success stories for to assist states in the implementation of the Common Core.

Achieve the Core – Free content designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core State Standards. Includes practical tools designed to help students and teachers see their hard work deliver results.

Implementing Common Core State Standards and Assessments: A Workbook for State and District Leaders (March 2012) – A resource including examples and exercises designed to help those charged with implementing CCSS at both the state and local levels.

Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation (September 2011) – A report on the Common Core from the Center on Education Policy based on a survey of school districts which indicate how the standards are viewed at the district level and many of the barriers to implementation that districts are facing.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice and the Common Core State Standards: Framing the Issues (2015) – This report from NAEYC considers how implementation of the common core state standards aligns with developmentally appropriate practice.

P21 Common Core Toolkit: A guide to aligning the Common Core State Standards with the framework for 21st century skills.


Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers – PARCC is one of two large-scale federally funded assessment initiatives developing assessments aligned with the Common Core.

PARCC Task Prototypes and Sample Questions – Sample assessments and questions from PARCC’s website for ELA/Literacy and Math.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – Smarter Balanced Assessment is one of two large-scale federally funded assessment initiatives developing a new generation of assessments aligned with the Common Core.

A Framework for Considering the Validity of Learning Standards (2015) – This issue brief from NAEYC can be used to build curriculum, guide instructional goals, and inform assessment.

Coming Together to Raise Achievement: New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards (April 2014) – This report from the K-12 Center at ETS serves as a guide to the Comprehensive Assessment Consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced).


Special Report on Education 2012: Arts Education at the Core (December 2013) – A report based on the findings of the Theatre Communications Group’s 2012 Education Survey discussing the impact of Common Core on arts education.

Art and the Common Core (February 2013) – A PowerPoint presentation from an Education Week webinar about arts integration within the Common Core, featuring Susan M. Riley and Lynne Munson, and moderated by Erik Robelen.

The Arts and the Common Core (December 2012) – A report prepared by the College Board for NCASS on connections between the CCSS and the Next Generation Arts Standards.

Use Arts Integration to Enhance Common Core (November 2012) – This post by Susan Riley from Edutopia’s Education Trends blog discusses arts integration as a means to enhance the Common Core.

Guiding Principles for the Arts: Grades K-12 – Developed by David Coleman, this is a discussion on the ways in which arts education intersects with the Common Core areas.

The Arts and the Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project – A guide utilizing the arts in a Common Core curriculum.

Creativity, Critical Thinking, and the New Common Core State Standards (March 2012) – A symposium co-hosted by the Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education Branch and the Museum of Contemporary Art, bringing together school leaders, teachers, and educators from arts organizations to discuss the impact of the Common Core on their work.


ArtsEdge – ArtsEdge is the Kennedy Center’s free digital resource for teaching and learning in, through, and about the arts.

Education Closet: Common Core and the Arts Resources – A collection of resources and professional development for educators on integrating the arts through the Common Core.

Teaching Channel Videos – Teaching Channel’s video library showcases innovative and effective teaching practices in the arts.


National Core Arts Standards – The result of the work of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), this website launched in June 2014 contains arts standards for five disciplines: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.

National Core Arts Standards Conceptual Framework (May 2014) – This document provides an overview of the grounding philosophy, primary goals, dynamic processes, structures, and outcomes that shape student learning and achievement in the five arts disciplines.

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards – Updated regularly, the resources available on this page cover all parts of the National Core Arts Standards and the revisions over time.

Ovation Foundation Arts Ed Toolkit – The Arts Ed Toolkit from The Ovation Foundation offers free online education resources for teachers covering a wide range of the arts and aligned with the National Core Arts Standards.

ArtScan – ArtScan, AEP’s clearinghouse of state policies for arts education contains information on arts education standards in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

VIDEO: NAEA Next Generation Arts Standards 1994-2014 (March 2014) – This video from the National Art Education Association compares the new arts standards to the 1994 standards.

A Review of Selected State Arts Standards (November 2011) – Completed by the College Board and NCCAS, this document examines and compares the arts standards in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.

International Arts Education Standards: A Survey of the Arts Education Standards and Practices of Fifteen Countries and Regions (August 2011) – The College Board produced this report detailing how countries across the world are developing arts standards. The report was created to help NCCAS consider international benchmarks as they revised the U.S. standards

National Standards for Arts Education (1994) – A useful tool from the Kennedy Center for exploring the national arts standards proposed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations in 1994, and accepted by 49 states.


Common Core Backlash: Track State Efforts (March 2014) – Updates on state efforts to reassess involvement in the standards and assessments. The site tracks legislation, executive orders, and other state action.

Common Core: Seven State In-Depth Reports (2013) – A series of special reports from the Hechinger Report on Common Core in seven selected states. The reports examine the extent to which the CCSS are transforming teaching and raising student achievement.

Common Sense vs. Common Core: How to Minimize the Damages of the Common Core (June 2012) – Blog post from Dr. Yung Zhao on minimizing potential negative impacts of the Common Core.

Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness, and the Common Core (April 2012) – This report from the Brookings Institution provides a recommendation that, for the Common Core to be effective, high quality instructional materials must be developed that support those standards.


Do you have a recommended resource to add here? This is an ever-growing list of resources for the Common Core and we welcome your suggestions. Please send suggested resources to Cassandra Quillen.