The “Common Core” initiative began in 2009 as a state-led initiative called “Partnership of Readiness for College and Careers” (PARCC) to create a single set of math and English standards that all states could share and voluntarily adopt. The idea was to build an internationally-bench marked curriculum that prepared students for success in college and careers. State educators (in all but five states) agreed to this tougher set of curriculum standards that students across the country should know and be able to do. The goal of the initiative was to ensure that every child gets a high quality education no matter where they live.
You can read more about Common Core Standards here: http://www.corestandards.org. Although the federal government was not involved in the creation of these standards, it did offer a financial carrot – states that adopted the new standards have a better shot at receiving billions of dollars in educational grants!
Under the Common Core Standards initiative, public schools in 45 states – including NY – and the District of Columbia “agreed” that by the 2014-2015 academic year, they would give all students at each grade level the same test based on these new standards of learning. The states that held out and will administer their own tests are Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia. Minnesota will use the Common Core English test, but not the math test.
Source - TestingMom.com