Definition of Common Core in US English:

Common Core

(also Common Core Standards)


  • (in the US) a set of educational standards for teaching and testing English and mathematics between kindergarten and 12th grade.

    ‘the Common Core outlines skills and knowledge that public school students should acquire in each grade’
    ‘with the adoption of the new Common Core Standards, there is much greater emphasis on being able to write coherently about what one reads’
    as modifier ‘Common Core tests’
    • ‘The scores could reveal some early fruits of states moving toward the adoption of a Common Core curriculum.’
    • ‘She blames Common Core for frustrating students and teachers alike.’
    • ‘A 12-year-old student said Common Core has been a step backward for him since he attends a school with one of the highest academic achievement ratings in California.’
    • ‘Parents showed up in force Monday to give a panel of experts an earful regarding controversy over the Common Core education program.’
    • ‘The Common Core Standards provides us with guidelines for the general competencies that students should obtain.’


Early 21st century: from Common Core State Standards Initiative.