Iowa Core Curriculum

What is the Iowa Core Curriculum?

Research shows that high expectations are a critical ingredient in improving student performance and ensuring student success beyond high school. The Iowa Core Curriculum provides a guide to delivering challenging and meaningful content to students that prepares them for success in life.The Iowa Core Curriculum identifies essential concepts and skills for kindergarten through 12th grade in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and 21st century skills. It also includes direction for teachers regarding effective instruction and assessment. It takes learning to a deeper level by moving students beyond superficial knowledge to deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. It also enhances student engagement by emphasizing interesting, robust, and relevant learning experiences. The 2008 legislative session, through Senate File 2216, requires all school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to implement the Iowa Core Curriculum (July 1, 2012 for grades 9 through 12 and 2014-15 for kindergarten through 8th grade).

What will it offer Iowa students?
The intent of the Iowa Core Curriculum is to ensure that all Iowa students have access to the challenging and meaningful curriculum that prepares them for success in postsecondary education and the emerging global economy.

What will it offer Iowa educators?
The intent of the Iowa Core Curriculum is to provide a tool for Iowa school districts and educators to use in assuring that essential subject matter is being taught and essential knowledge and skills are being learned. The Iowa Core Curriculum also provides a foundation for school districts to implement graduation requirements more effectively and meaningfully.

What is a parent or community member's role?
The full picture of the Iowa Core Curriculum is one that includes communities and schools working together to support this historic endeavor. It galvanizes action to improve teaching and learning by encouraging educators, parents, and community members to strive toward a common goal of increasing student achievement and preparing students for the 21st century.

Grade Spans in the Iowa Core Curriculum
The Iowa Core Curriculum presents the most important concepts and skills that students should learn in grade spans, such as K-2. This was done to honor the individual needs of students. The Iowa Core Curriculum sets high expectations for all students and respects that students will progress differently through the grade spans. The person closest to a student in school — the classroom teacher — is in the best position to determine the pace and rigor of learning for the student. Grade spans allow classroom teachers to reinforce and build upon previously mastered concepts and skills, and provide the most appropriate learning experiences for students to successfully progress through grade levels. Local school administrators and classroom teachers can provide more information about the specific content and skills taught at each level in their school.

21st Century Skills Details and Examples Added

The details and examples for K-12 21st Century Skills are now included on the Iowa Core Curriculum website. A full document is also available by using the Download 21st Century Skills icon at the top of section pages.