Say farewell to the Common Core Learning Standards. Here come the state's "Next Generation Learning Standards." The proposed new standards, which describe what students are expected to know and be able to do at various grade levels in English language arts and math, were presented to the Board of Regents at its May 9 meeting.
The revamped and renamed standards were drawn up by more than 130 educators and parents over a two-year process. The review committees included 94 teachers; 21 administrators; three library media specialists; four college professors; and 16 parents. No testing companies were involved in the standards revision sessions.
Committees reviewed more than 4,100 public comments and considered extensive feedback from experts in child development, English language learners and students with disabilities. Committees went standard-by-standard, grade-by-grade. Some learning standards were thrown out; others were merged; some standards were moved to different grade levels.
In response to negative feedback that some of the Common Core's early grade standards were not age-appropriate, an Early Learning Standards Task Force with 30 educators and parents issued a set of pre-K–2 recommendations, such as incorporating "play" as an instructional strategy.
The new standards meet the 2015 state law requirement that the Common Core Standards be reassessed with stakeholder input. The revised standards include many of the recommendations issued by the Governor's Common Core Task Force in December 2015. Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who served on the Common Core Task Force, launched SED's extensive review and vowed that changes would not be rushed through like last time.
A significant change to the ELA standards includes encouraging a more healthy balance of informational reading and literary texts to ensure students read both full-length texts and shorter pieces, as well as to encourage reading for pleasure. Specific reading selections will be local decisions chosen by local educators.
To provide more time for students to develop deep levels of understanding of math content, the review committees suggested major grade movements in statistics and probability at the middle level and in algebra at the high school level. Some changes are semantic. For example, the new standard calls for "exploring" a concept without the expectation of mastering the concept at that grade level.
The full text of the revised standards are available at www.nysed.gov/aimhighny. NYSED is accepting public comment on the revised standards through June 2. It is expected the Regents will vote on adopting the standards at the June 12–13 meeting.
Once the Regents approve the new standards, the State Education Department will work with district superintendents, the Staff and Curriculum Development Network and teacher centers to develop and provide guidance on professional development for teachers to implement the new standards. Additional resources will include clear communications for parents; resources for English language learners and students with disabilities; a glossary of terms; and crosswalks to show the main differences between the new standards and the 2011 standards.
Unlike last time, students will not be tested on the new standards until teachers have a chance to incorporate the new standards into new curriculum. As SED's timeline shows, initial implementation of the new standards will be coupled with professional development during the 2017–18 and 2018–19 school years. The first year of revised grade 3–8 ELA and math state assessments is slated for 2019–20.
Revision and implementation timeline
AimHighNY survey and public comment
December 2015–February 2016
Department and educator workgroups analyze AimHighNY results
Standards review committees
Public comment on revised standards
November 2016–April 2017
Final standards revisions
Beginning April 2017
Curriculum revisions occur throughout the state
Consideration by the Board of Regents
School years 2017–18 and 2018–19
Professional development and initial implementation of new standards
School year 2019–20
First year of revised grade 3–8 ELA and math state assessments.
Source: State Education Department