This document begins with a section that sets forth five cross-content workplace readiness standards. Each is elaborated upon in terms of more discrete indicators, but these are not organized by grade cluster. The cross-content workplace readiness section also includes two matrices. The first highlights linkages between the SCANS workplace competencies and foundation skills, and New Jersey's cross-content workplace readiness standards. The second matrix crosscuts these five cross-content workplace readiness standards with specific indicators in each of the seven sections of core curriculum content standards.
The seven content sections are presented in alphabetical order, with each section including an introduction and a list of standards. These are followed by the individual standards, each of which contains a descriptive statement and cumulative progress indicators broken down into what students need to know and be able to do by the end of grades 4, 8, and 11-12.
The sequence of the standards is not meant to suggest hierarchical order, or any linear or sequential approach. Rather, the standards are to be construed and applied as integrating aspects of teaching and learning.
While New Jersey's core curriculum content standards and related indicators have been developed in terms of separate academic disciplines, this familiar approach was chosen primarily for the sake of organizational convenience and simplicity of communication. The results expected of New Jersey students could also have been described in more integrative terms which would have reflected more accurately how students would someday apply what they have learned in school. To focus on the standards primarily in terms of who teaches which discrete piece of knowledge, or which department or certification area is best equipped to teach a particular skill, is not productive.
Students can now obtain knowledge and skill in a multiplicity of ways. Therefore, it is most productive to concentrate on how we can best use resources to achieve higher order results across an array of content areas. Educators will need imagination to blend traditional academic perspectives with the exponentially expanding sources of information and talent available to themselves and their students. The challenge to the educational community, therefore, is to think outside the educational box within which most of us have been schooled.
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