The National Association of State Boards of Education has released a toolkit for implementing the Common Core State Standards (here). The toolkit includes an overview of the standards and context for why they were written. The document also outlines the major shifts in the Common Core:
The CCSS places an emphasis on building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction. This does not mean the end of literature in the classroom, rather a balance of informational texts and works of fiction. As a result, teachers in other core subject areas, such as history and science, will need to use more nonfiction and informational texts to help students master the CCSS.
The CCSS calls for reading, writing, and speaking that is grounded in evidence from texts.
The CCSS requires regular practice with complex text and its academic language.
The document includes a number of links in areas such as assessment, training, materials, and special populations.