Standards for Learning

The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) include Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards as well as K-12 standards for: Visual and Performing Arts; Comprehensive Health and Physical Education; Science; Social Studies; World Languages; Technology; and 21st-Century Life and Careers. Standards for Mathematics and Language Arts Literacy are part of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initative coordinated by the Council of Chief States School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor's Association (NGA) in partnership with other national organizations. New Jersey is one of 44 states, Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands to join the state-led Common Core State Standards initiative. Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education.

Both the NJCCCS and CCSS address two critical education priorities. The revised standards align with the knowledge and skills needed by all students for post-secondary opportunities, which may encompass: four-year college, community college, technical training, military service, direct entry into the workplace, and an array of future careers - including some that are just being envisioned and others that are currently unforeseen. In addition, the standards by necessity reflect a framework for teaching and learning that responds to the needs of 21st-centure digital lerners by incorporating the "new literacies" required in an innovation economy: the ability to effectively access, evaluate, and synthesize vast amounts of information; to apply knowledge and skills to personal, workplace, and global challenges; to work collaboratively in cross-cultural settings; to solve problmes creatively; and to act ethically as citizens of the world community.

These 21st-century student outcomes require a deeper understanding of academic content at much higher levels than ever before. The revised standards facilitate this in-depth learning in all content areas through the systematic and transparent integration of 21st-century knowledege, skills and themes; global perspectives; cross content connections; and technology. Consequently, successful implementation of the revised standards requires rethinking of traditional curricular and assessment approaches, as well as the creation of 21st-century learning environments in which teachers and students work across and beyond traditional disciplines and boundaries as engaged co-learners, critical and creative thinkers, and problem solvers.