The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association in response to concerns about the poor performance of US students in comparison to students in other industrialized nations. A lack of understanding of the standards has led some to assume that any standards-based curriculum is going to focus on lower-level thinking skills and therefore impede critical and creative thinking. While Kentucky’s English language arts and mathematics standards are derived from the CCSS, Kentucky’s learning targets and standards are not limited to the CCSS standards. That is, there are additional Kentucky learning targets and standards that are not in the CCSS, from first grade reading to Arts and Humanities. Kentucky’s curriculum meets all of the requirements of the 2009 Senate Bill 1, including Practical Living and Vocational Studies, World Languages, and Arts and Humanities. This paper describes the creative process as requiring a deep foundational knowledge, extensive practice, and a strong work ethic. The s kills and habits of mind that are required for creativity can be aligned with the Common Core Standards (and the KY Core Academic Standards in particular) and explicitly taught at all grade levels. Teachers and instructional leaders must utilize their own creative thinking skills to redesign curriculum and schools to meet the demands of these more rigorous standards.

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