Content no longer refers primarily to facts and skills; it is defined as that which students should know, be able to do, and understand at a deep level. The current knowledge base is growing so rapidly that schools cannot possibly cover all aspects of it. However, schools can provide students with the knowledge, skills, and understandings to become lifelong learners and productive citizens of the 21st Century.

The vision for the Iowa Core is to ensure the success of each and every student by providing a world-class curriculum, of which the content is a key part. It identifies the essential and well-researched content to which all students must have access. The Iowa Core is not course-based, but rather is a student-based approach that supports high expectations for all students.