Dear Commons Community,
The New York State Education Department on Tuesday unveiled the basics of its plan to revamp the State’s Common Core curriculum. The changes follow a two-year-long process involving both educators and the public.
“The new learning standards are the result of a thoughtful and deliberative process to reimagine our educational framework for English language arts and mathematics,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a release. “The result will be improved teaching and learning in New York’s classrooms, with a greater emphasis on supporting English language learners, students with disabilities and other special populations. These standards are rigorous and will help equip children to lead successful lives in the 21st century.”
The state’s version of the Common Core — and more particularly the state tests that came with it — have been highly unpopular in New York. Parents have been opting their children out of the tests since they were first implemented.
The new plan proposes changes for both the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics curricula for pre-kindergarten students through 12th grade. Among the changes to the ELA curriculum are:
- Merge the Reading for Information and Reading for Literature standards to reduce repetitive standards, streamline classroom instruction and curriculum development, and ensure a healthy balance of both types of reading across all grades. The standards also encourage the use of a variety of texts to balance literary and informational reading and to ensure students read both full-length texts and shorter pieces, as well as to encourage reading for pleasure. Specific reading selections remain local decisions to be chosen by local educators.
- Revise every grade’s reading expectations for text complexity to clarify expectations over multiple grades.
- Revise the writing standards so they are more user-friendly for educators to use for curriculum and instruction.
Changes proposed to the mathematics curriculum include:
- Move standards to different grade levels to improve the focus of major content and skills for each grade-level and course; providing more time for students to develop deep levels of understanding of grade-level appropriate content. Based on public and expert comments, major grade movements occurred in statistics and probability at the middle level and in Algebra at the high school level.
- Provide for students to explore standards to ensure standards are grade-level appropriate. Exploring a standard allows students to be introduced to and learn a concept without the expectation of mastering the concept at that grade level.
The revised standards will be discussed by the Board of Regents at a meeting on May 9, and public comment will be accepted through June 2. The board will likely vote on the standards at its June meeting.