The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative has been regarded as one of the most influential educational movements in the United States since Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. While its origins can be traced back to a much earlier date, the CCSS were officially launched by the National Governors’ Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers in June 2010. As of December 2014, 43 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories have adopted the CCSS. Standardized testing at the K-12 level is a topic that has received growing attention for decades across the world. And with comparison data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), many U.S. policy makers and practitioners felt it was time to help provide a common standard in key subjects at the national level as well. Advocates argue that the CCSS focus on fewer, clearer, and higher educational standards in English language arts and literacy and mathematics. In this article the authors analyze the historical background and rise of the CCSS within the United States, and then compare the CCSS with other U.S. education laws and initiatives, including the Head Start Program and the Elementary Secondary Education Act in 1965, the Standards and Accountability Movements in the 1990s, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Race to the Top Fund in 2009. The concluding section offers recommendations and practical suggestions for policy makers and educators in K-12 settings in Taiwan and other international contexts.