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Education Department Releases New Academic Standards Statewide

New Jersey officials have proposed a number of changes to the existing Common Core standards.
New Jersey officials have proposed a number of changes to the existing Common Core standards. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski, file

NEW JERSEY — State officials presented recommendations to improve New Jersey’s Common Core standards to the New Jersey State Board of Education on Monday.

Besides recommending improvements and revisions to hundreds of standards, the state Department of Education is proposing re-naming the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts, to the “New Jersey Student Learning Standards.”

“New Jersey’s standards should reflect New Jersey’s uniqueness, needs, strengths and challenges and also be adaptable to give educators the flexibility they need to impart the basic skills and knowledge needed by all of our students in every unique classroom setting," Commissioner David C. Hespe said in a statement. "The previous standards did not meet that high mark for our teachers, parents, or students, and we welcomed the opportunity to get it right for our children by reviewing, improving and communicating New Jersey’s academic goals.”

Some of the changes included:

  • Greater balance in the English language arts (ELA) standards, emphasizing appropriate attention to literature, attention to the reader and the importance of background knowledge, while maintaining the importance of informational text and research. ·
  • Changes to the ELA standards to emphasize the need for students to learn how to make connections through historical and cultural perspectives when reading.
  • Clarification to the Mathematics standards with language better aligned to classroom instruction.
  • The New Jersey Department of Education will make recommendations as to sequencing of the standards across the school year and what students should be able to know and do in relationship to the standards as well as guidance on how districts can complete the framework with their local materials, assessments, and lesson/unit activities.
The State Board of Education will begin its normal review and adoption process. Until the recommendations are officially adopted by the State Board of Education, the current standards will remain in place.

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