Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Iowa Core

A great school system begins with a clear and rigorous set of expectations, or standards, that educators help all students reach. In Iowa, those academic standards are known as the Iowa Core. The Iowa Core standards describe what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through 12th grade in math, science, English language arts and social studies. The Iowa Core also sets learning goals for 21st Century skills in areas such as financial and technological literacy. The Iowa Core is a set of common expectations for school districts across the state. It is not a curriculum, so decisions about how to help students meet learning goals remain in the hands of local schools and teachers.

These clear, consistent standards can provide peace of mind to parents, teachers and other stakeholders who want students to have the best education possible. The Iowa Core sets appropriate expectations for all students, regardless of where they live or what school district they attend, and reflects the real-world knowledge and skills students need to graduate from high school prepared for college or to enter the workforce.

The Iowa Department of Education has launched, a website that was created to put much-needed resources into the hands of educators who are working to put the Iowa Core standards into practice in classrooms statewide. The website also is intended to help increase public understanding of the Iowa Core standards for all Iowans. The website has four components: 

  •      Searchable standards
  •      Educator resources for implementation, instruction and assessment
  •      Parent and community resources
  •      Iowa Core testimonials (Iowa Core Spotlight)


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