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Common Core State Standards/PARCC Information

The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards 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 initiative coordinated by the Council of Chief States School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) in partnership with other national organizations.
The State of New Jersey, along with 44 other States, has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and other experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards implemented in 1996 were the first attempt to bring consistency and rigor across schools in the state. These New Jersey standards are still in place in all areas except Language Arts and Mathematics. The Language Arts and Mathematics standards for New Jersey are now the Common Core State Standards. All Clifton Public Schools Curriculum follow the Common Core and New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.
The major shifts in Mathematics under the Common Core include:
     • The Common Core State Standards emphasize coherence at each grade level – making connections across content and between content and mathematical practices in order to promote deeper learning.
     • The standards focus on key topics at each grade level to allow educators and students to go deeper into the content.
     • The standards also emphasize progressions across grades, with the end of progression calling for fluency – or the ability to perform calculations or solving problems quickly and accurately
     • The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe mathematical “habits of mind” or mathematical applications and aim to foster reasoning, problem solving, modeling, decision making, and engagement among students.
     • Finally, the standards require students to demonstrate deep conceptual understanding by applying them to new situations.

The major shifts in Language Arts under the Common Core include:
     • In Reading, the major advances are the shift away from literature-focused standards to a balance of literature and informational texts to reflect college- and career-ready expectations. There is also a greater focus on text complexity and at what level students should be reading.
     • In Writing, there is a strong emphasis on argument and informative/ explanatory writing, along with an emphasis on writing about sources or using evidence to inform an argument.
     • The Common Core also include Speaking and Listening expectations, including a focus on formal and informal talk, which can be done through presentations and group work.
     • The Language standards put a stress on both general academic and domain-specific vocabulary.
     • The Common Core also address reading, writing and literacy across the curriculum, and include literacy standards for science, social studies and technical subjects. These standards complement rather than replace content standards in those subjects, and are the responsibility of teachers in those specific disciplines, making literacy a shared responsibility across educators.

In addition, New Jersey has joined the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). PARCC is a consortium of more than 20 states and Washington, DC working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in language arts and math aligned to the Common Core State Standards. These new K-12 assessments will mark students’ progress and provide teachers with timely information to inform instruction and provide student support. The PARCC assessments will be administered during the 2014-15 school year. Clifton Public Schools has been selected to field test certain portions of the PARCC assessments during the 2013-2014 school year. The information below is designed to provide parents and community members with the most up-to-date information on the Common Core State Standards and the Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

This three-minute video explains how the Common Core State Standards will help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond.

Common Core State Standards Explained - Video

English Language Arts