Interactive: Academic standards are all over the map

From who the president is to how to tell time, what you’re expected to learn in school each year depends on where you live in the U.S.

South Dakota’s second-graders are supposed to learn how to tell time to the minute. In Alaska, students might be forgiven for being late – they aren’t required to learn how to tell time to the minute until fifth grade.

Academic standards range widely across the country for even the simplest set of facts. Such disparities are one reason why 48 states jointly developed a set of common standards, which seek to provide a single, clear definition of what should be taught in English and math in America’s public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. The common standards, released on June 2nd, are also intended to better prepare U.S. children for college and the workplace.

As many as 15 states are expected to adopt the grade-level requirements for reading, writing and math by the end of June. Another 15 states are expected to come on board by the end of August and 10 more by year’s end.

Click on a question to find out what grade each state teaches it, and then click on an individual state to read the exact language of its standard.

Want to see the full standards for states?


Sarah Butrymowicz

Sarah Butrymowicz is senior editor for investigations. For her first four years at The Hechinger Report, she was a staff writer, covering k-12 education, traveling… See Archive

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