State Education Standards – Part 4
State Curriculum Standards
The State Board of Education adopted content standards identifying what students should know and be able to do in six major academic areas. Benchmarks have been set within the content areas, specifying what content will be covered in state tests, and performance standards measure student achievement of the benchmarks.
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Over 350 people throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania assisted in the development of the academic standards called Chapter 4. They included parents, business and community leaders, teachers, higher education professors, school administrators and Department of Education staff. In developing the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, the development committees reviewed and used national benchmarks, other states’ standards and international academic standards.
Chapter 4 currently covers Reading, writing and Speaking, and Mathematics. Additional standards are under review and can be found at Standards in Progress.
There are two kinds of standards in Rhode Island, content standards and performance standards. Content Standardsdescribe what students need to know, understand, and be able to do in a specific content area such a s English language arts or mathematics. Performance standards tell how well the student has to perform to achieve or exceed the standard.
Content standards can be drawn from many sources. There are those developed by national organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Other sources of content standards are the Rhode Island state Frameworks (English language arts, mathematics, science, and health) and the New Standards for
English language arts, mathematics, science, and applied learning. Each school district in the state selects or adapts from among these various sources those content standards they want their students to know and be able to do.
The South Carolina Curriculum and Standards Office provides leadership and service to students, teachers, administrators, and parents throughout South Carolina in the implementation of standards-based education. They revise and disseminate curriculum standards in English language arts,foreign languages, health and safety education, mathematics, physical education, science, social studies, and visual and performing arts. Their curriculum content specialists design and implement needs-based professional development to assist teachers and administrators in the implementation of effective classroom instruction.
The South Dakota Content Standards articulate an essential core of knowledge and skills that the state as a whole wants students to master. Standards clarify what students are expected to know and be able to do at various points in their K-12 academic career. Local adoption and implementation of state standards ensures that the education students receive is consistently strong across all of South Dakota, and that completion of high school has common meaning throughout the state.
The Tennessee Curriculum Frameworks contain the broad goals and objectives, which identify the minimum content required at each grade level and for each course from K-12. The approved frameworks are the basis for planning instructional programs in each local school system.
The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills documents (TEKS) are the center of the curriculum throughout Texas schools and, as such, define the basic content of the instructional program. TEKS outline the knowledge and skills required of every student by the statewide accountability system. The guidelines are extensive, ranging from Preschool guidelines through the core subjects and extending even to supplemental subjects such as marketing and agriculture. The State Standards may be downloaded as a PDF file.
The State Board of Education established a policy in 1984 requiring the identification of specific Core Curriculum Standards, which must be completed by all students K-12 as a requisite for graduation from Utah’s secondary schools.
The Core Curriculum represents those standards of learning that are essential for all students. They are the ideas, concepts, and skills that provide a foundation on which subsequent learning may be built.
The purpose of Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities is to improve student learning. The standards will be used in three ways: to provide a structure from which standards-based district, school, and classroom curriculum can be developed, organized, implemented, and assessed; to provide the basis for the development of a state, local, and classroom comprehensive assessment system; and to make explicit what may be included in statewide assessments of student learning.
Statewide assessments focus on students’ use of knowledge and skills from the three fields of
The Standards of Learning in Virginia identify academic content for essential components of the curriculum at different grade levels for Virginia’s public schools. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade eight and for a core set of high school courses.
Washington has never had common goals for which students and educators were accountable. Earlier attempts to set standards left districts to develop their own lists, and there was no coherent attempt to measure achievement.
After much study, intense discussion and thoughtful public debate, statewide academic standards have been developed for the “basics”–reading, writing, communication, and mathematics, and for science, history, geography, civics, economics, arts, and health & fitness. These standards are called the Essential Academic Learning Requirements. They represent the specific academic skills and knowledge students will be required to meet in the classroom.
West Virginia’s Instructional Goals and Objectives cover K-12 core subjects such as Mathematics, English, and Science as well as six key areas of process skills. These are essential skills that students need for successful entry into work or post-secondary education. The ability to solve problems, communicate successfully, work with others, apply sound judgment, establish clear objectives for advancing career interest and utilize technology to assist with specific tasks.
Wisconsin has published an extensive set of academic standards called the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. As well as English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, the standards cover additional subjects such as dance, music, marketing, and technology, just to name a few. Each set of standards is presented in its own self-contained booklet.
The Wyoming State Standards specify what students must master. They are not instructional curricula, nor are they technical documents, used by teachers to guide day-to-day instruction. Teachers ensure that students achieve standards by using a range of instructional strategies that they select based on their students’ needs. Core subjects are covered and there are additional subjects listed, although some remain in draft form.