New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
May 1996

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At the threshold to the twenty-first century, New Jersey finds itself struggling along with the rest of the nation to educate citizens who will be competitive in the international marketplace of the future. New Jersey also faces a particular constitutional challenge of implementing a state system of "Thorough and Efficient" public schools.

New Jersey wrestles with a paradox regarding the governance of public education. Ours is a state with a 120-year-old constitutional guarantee that regardless of residency, its children will receive a "Thorough and Efficient" education. Throughout this same time period, the State has evolved into approximately 600 independent school districts that exercise considerable "local control." Confronting the State, therefore, is the issue of how to ensure that all children receive a "T&E" education. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that each district determines its own curriculum.

Core curriculum content standards are an attempt to define the meaning of "Thorough" in the context of the 1875 State constitutional guarantee that students would be educated within a Thorough and Efficient system of free public schools. They describe what all students should know and be able to do upon completion of a thirteen-year public education.

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