Curriculum Associates' New Research Identifies the Most Challenging Common Core State Standards for Students

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

North Billerica, MA, March 12, 2015

Curriculum Associates recently conducted extensive 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.

“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.”

Curriculum Associates' findings show that 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 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 was able to identify which CCSS were the most challenging for students. Independent research has demonstrated that the i-Ready Diagnostic was found to have strong correlations to the 2013 and 2014 New York State Assessments (correlations ranged from 0.77–0.85 across grades and subjects). In addition, the i-Ready Diagnostic successfully predicted proficiency on the assessment for 85 percent of students.

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

To learn more about Ready, the program that was 100% built from scratch to meet the rigor of the CCSS, visit

About Curriculum Associates
Founded in 1969, privately owned Curriculum Associates, LLC, designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students. 


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