NJDOE News

Core Curriculum Content Standards
Revision Process Update

April 2003

INTRODUCTION

The Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS), first adopted by the State Board of Education in May 1996, are New Jersey’s academic standards. The standards describe what all students should know and be able to do by the time they graduate from high school. In accordance with state regulations, the original standards are being revised. Revised standards in the content areas of language arts literacy, math and science have already been adopted. The State Board of Education is currently considering proposed revisions in the remaining content areas of: visual and performing arts, comprehensive health and physical education, social studies, world languages, technological literacy, and career education and consumer, family and life skills. The State Board’s review, which currently is at the first discussion level, is part of a public process that has solicited comment and input from the general public and from New Jersey’s education community. Below is a brief description of each of the content areas now under consideration; followed by highlights of the proposed changes in each content area in the revised standards.

STANDARDS TO BE REVISED

1. Visual and Performing Arts

  • The visual and performing arts standards provide the knowledge students need to learn and appreciate the cultural aspects of communicating through an art medium.

  • The visual and performing arts standards help students understand the visual and performing arts, the principles and elements both common and unique to dance, music, theater, and the visual arts.

  • The visual and performing arts standards provide the knowledge for students to understand the influence of the arts relative to world cultures, history, and society.

2. Comprehensive Health and Physical Education

  • The health and physical education standards help students develop the knowledge and skills to make choices that contribute to a healthy, active lifestyle.

  • They provide for students to understand how to prevent injuries and diseases through healthy eating, disease prevention measures, and safety precautions.

  • They provide for students to understand the social and emotional components of wellness including stress and conflict management, character development, leadership development, and critical thinking skills.

  • They provide for students to understand the important role of human relationships with family, friends, and others.

  • They provide for students to understand how to move safely, efficiently, and effectively and how to utilize movement to become physically fit.

  • They provide for students the knowledge they need to be active, informed responsible citizens; and contributing members of their communities.

3. Social Studies

  • The Social Studies standards provide the knowledge students need to be active, informed responsible citizens; and contributing members of their communities. They enable students to:

  • critically examine the major social and political issues of the day

  • appreciate and act on the great traditions of American constitutional democracy

  • know and understand the most important persons, issues and events in United States, New Jersey and world history

  • understand the principles of economics in the American and world economies and be able to apply them to their own lives

  • appreciate and act on the needs of our environment

4. World Languages

  • The world languages standards continue the vision of the opportunity for language learning to be available to all students with the emphasis on communication and culture.

  • The world languages provide students with the knowledge to communicate in a world language in addition to English and be able to engage in conversation; understand and interpret spoken and written language.

  • They provide students with the ability to present information, concepts, and ideas while making connections with other disciplines and compare the language/culture studied with their own.

5. Technological Literacy (New Content Area)

  • The technological literacy standards help students become "computer literate," and learn how to use technology tools to successfully communicate in an increasingly technologically oriented society;

  • The technological literacy standards help students learn to analyze and evaluate design options and how to apply the design process to solve problems.

6. Career Education and Consumer, Family, and Life Skills

  • The career education and consumer, family, and life skills standards provide a focus on career awareness, planning and employability skills.

  • They provide exposure to a wide variety of workplace related fields of study and pathways for learning.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE REVISED STANDARDS

Based on feedback from the public, the State Board of Education and the Standards Advisory Committee, smaller content review committees were formed, under the guidance of Dr. Evelyn Ogden, deputy superintendent, East Brunswick Schools and Jay Doolan, director, Office of Academic and Professional Standards. The review committees were composed of content specialists and generalists, who were charged with reviewing each standard and cumulative progress indicator (CPI).

As a result of this process, the following changes have been made:

1. Visual and Performing Arts

  • Moved selected cumulative progress indicators to different grade levels to reflect grade and age appropriate expectations (Ex. Moved the following cumulative progress indicator in the theater discipline from grade four to grade eight: "Explain the interdependent relationship between the performance, technical design and management functions of production." and
  • Reduced the total number of cumulative progress indicators from 271 to 220.

2. Comprehensive Health and Physical Education

  • Rewrote each standard to focus on the development and maintenance of a healthy, active lifestyle;
  • Combined cumulative progress indicators to reduce repetition. Ex. For standard 2.1, grade four, strand F (social and emotional health, combined): "Discuss how culture, peers and the media impact the way individuals communicate and express emotions;" and "Describe how emotions affect communications, choices and behaviors" to read, "Discuss how culture, peers and the media impact the way individuals communicate and express emotions, and how emotions affect communication, choices and behavior;"
  • Edited cumulative progress indicators to improve clarity and focus; and
  • Reduced the total number of cumulative progress indicators from 633 to 550.

3. Social Studies

  • Reduced the number of standards from nine to five and merged selected cumulative progress indicators into the remaining five standards;
  • Combined US history and New Jersey history into one standard; and
  • Reorganized the economic standard to include emphasis on economic literacy, economy and society, and personal financial management.

4. World Languages

  • Provided examples of grade configurations at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to illustrate the amount of time needed to achieve proficiency levels; and
  • Described student performance outcomes and content to be addressed for each of the proficiency levels (e.g. novice, intermediate and pre-advanced).

5. Technological Literacy

  • Changed name of Standard 8.1 to technological literacy to reflect broader technological applications;
  • Refined content and reorganized strands (Ex: Computer Applications changed to Basic Computer Tools and Skills and Applicatioin of Productivity Tools;
  • Removed grade 4 cumulative progress indicators from Standard 8.2 and cross-referenced to science standard 5.4; and
  • Increased cumulative progress indicators from 49 to 64.

6. Career and Technical Education and Consumer, Family and Life Skills

  • Changed to current title to more accurately reflect content covered in family and consumer science programs and other practical arts programs;
  • Condensed content into two standards;
  • Included career awareness, planning, and employability in standard 9.1; and
  • Included critical thinking, self-management, ethic, personal finance, and safety in standard 9.2.