What is the Common Core?
The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to define what all students need to know and do in order to be college and career-ready when they graduate. According to the official web site, they "include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills," they are "informed by other top performing countries," and they are "evidence-based."
Common Core v. current Pennsylvania standards
3rd grade math
Current standard: "Solve problems using addition, subtraction and multiplication (straight computation and word problems)."
Common Core: "Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
7th grade English
Current standard: "Make inferences, draw conclusions, and make generalizations based on text."
Common Core: "Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from text."
Source: www.corestandards.org, Pennsylvania Department of Education