The New Jersey Department of Education's Division of Teaching and Learning has developed new curricular frameworks for English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten through grade twelve. The frameworks are aligned with the newly adopted New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English language arts and mathematics and will replace the model curricula for those subjects.
The purpose of the frameworks is to provide educators with a tool to guide conversations around curriculum and instruction that should be taking place in schools/districts around the state. The frameworks focus on the standards and skills in order to provide a logical sequence of instruction with the goal of mastering the standards at each grade level. It is not intended to remove teacher autonomy; rather, it is the hope that the frameworks will provide a logical, rigorous, yet flexible path through which to meet instructional goals for all students.
In each grade-level framework, there is an overview page provided at the beginning of the document. This will act as a roadmap on how to cluster the New Jersey Student Learning Standards over the course of the school year. At the end of each unit, tables are purposefully left blank for schools/districts to include their own curricular information.
As educators work with the frameworks, there are no separate boxes for interdisciplinary connections or integration of 21st century themes and skills nor are there modifications for special education, English language learners, students at risk of school failure or gifted students. This is intentional as the interdisciplinary connections of themes and skills are to be integrated throughout the frameworks. Educators should be mindful of these as they build out the frameworks and code them appropriately. Districts may choose to include additional boxes to suit their instructional needs.
The Department of Education would like to acknowledge all of the educators who dedicated so much time and energy to this project. It is important to note that the writers comprised educators from across the state of New Jersey and included teachers, supervisors, and administrators with a vast array of experience and expertise. Although the frameworks are focused on English language arts and mathematics, the committee of writers included those with other content area expertise, such as ELL and special education. In addition, the writers represented districts that included priority, focus, and reward schools from numerous counties and regions with representation from early childhood to secondary schools. This variety of experience contributed to a comprehensive collaboration where all had a voice in the process and product.
After reviewing the frameworks and understanding how the standards and skills are organized, schools/districts should download the frameworks and rename them as their own. Districts should continue collaborative conversations around curriculum and instruction that includes discussing assessment. By framing the conversations in this way will tightly align evidence to student learning. Additionally, educators will find support materials including details on how a district or school might begin this work, a PowerPoint slide deck on the background, as well as guided professional learning.