What are the most challenging Common Core standards?

New microsite provides free resources and sample lessons to help educators address the most challenging reading and math standards

Core-StandardsA new look into how students handle some of the toughest reading and math Common Core standards could help educators identify where they need to spend more time.

Curriculum Associates recently conducted research using data from more than 750,000 students to identify the reading and math Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that students find the most challenging.

These standards, as well as free instructional resources specifically targeted to them, are now available for educators on Curriculum Associates’ new microsite designed to help educators address difficult areas as they teach to the rigor of the CCSS.

Next page: The most challenging standards for students

“By being able to pinpoint the specific standards that students tend to find the most challenging, teachers can better plan—and maximize—their instructional time,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Our new microsite identifies the most challenging reading and math standards at the elementary and middle school levels, and provides free sample lessons from our award-winning Ready® program to provide teachers with additional support as they navigate the new standards.”

Findings show that, among students whose data is included in the research, in reading, students need extra support with informational vs. literary text, as well as increasingly complex texts.

The most challenging standards are those that require synthesis skills, including those related to:
• Determining central ideas or themes and summarizing details
• Analyzing text structure
• Integrating and evaluating content in diverse media and formats
• Analyzing similar topics and themes across texts

In math, students included in the research find the standards that require deeper conceptual understanding to be the most challenging. They include standards related to:
• Geometric measurement
• Modeling problem situations
• Fractions
• Statistics

With i-Ready Diagnostic data collected from more than 750,000 students across the country, Curriculum Associates’ team of researchers aimed to identify which standards were the most challenging for students.

To view the Common Core State Standards that students find the most challenging, visit Curriculum Associates’ microsite at

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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