New Jersey Department of Education

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    Kathryn Forsyth
    Rich Vespucci
    Beth Auerswald

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2009

Revised Core Curriculum Content Standards Posted for Public Review

Citing the vital importance of the 21st century skills necessary to better prepare students for success in the global economy, Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy today announced that proposed revisions to the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) are now available for public review and comment.

The nine CCCS, which outline what students should know and be able to do at grade levels, must be revised every five years by the State Department of Education and adopted by the State Board of Education to ensure they remain current and contain the academic rigor appropriate for preschool through grade 12.
Their release begins a 60-day period for public review and comment.  The public will be able to provide feedback through an online evaluation tool and during several standards review sessions that will be conducted throughout the state in February.

The revised standards are designed to infuse real-world skills into the state’s existing curriculum models in the nine content areas – Language Arts Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Technological Literacy, Visual and Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Career Education and Consumer, Family and Life Skills – and to implement many instructional elements of DOE’s high school transformation effort.

“All New Jersey children deserve the opportunity to enter the workforce or college already equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive,” said Commissioner Davy. “The release of the 2009 curriculum revisions brings New Jersey one step closer to ensuring that students are prepared better for the world that awaits them after high school.”

Major CCCS changes proposed this year include:

  • All content standards nowrequire the infusion of interdisciplinary connections, technology and global awareness.
  • The revised standard nine, 21st Century Life and Careers, includes new standards on life and career skills and personal financial literacy designed to help students in all grades learn about money, credit and debt management and planning, savings and investing, and a new career and technical education standard.
  • The Math standard incorporates best practices from other states and countries where students have shown high levels of achievement.
  • The Language Arts Literacy standard adds a focus on the use of digital technologies in reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing.  It also incorporates world literature to develop students’ cross-cultural perspectives of authors and audiences from other regions of the world.

Once finalized and published, the new CCCS will be accompanied by classroom application documents to help teachers make the new standards come alive in the classroom and integrate the targeted skills across content areas.  The application documents also will provide examples of how to use project-based learning to give students a broader understanding of the skills and concepts being taught.

“For example, imagine the learning that could take place if students are empowered to use technology to contact their peers across the globe for a long-term project examining the lack of clean drinking water in many countries,” said Commissioner Davy.  “It not only would be a lesson in math and science, but students would learn how to communicate with people from other cultures – a skill set they most certainly will need as working adults in a global economy.
“New Jersey’s business community expects high school graduates who possess the communication, problem-solving and technology skills necessary to help their companies prosper and grow in a competitive economy,” the Commissioner said.  “Infusing 21st century skills into existing curriculum standards is the cornerstone to transforming New Jersey’s high schools into institutions that better prepare students to meet real-world expectations.”

The revised standards are available on DOE’s Web site at

Educators and others interested in attending any one of the three- hour standards review sessions can register online at   Registrants can choose to attend a morning session from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or an afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates at the following locations:

            Wednesday, February 11, at Middlesex County College in Edison
            Friday, February 13, at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona
            Friday, February 20, at New Jersey City University in Jersey City
            Tuesday, February 24, at NJPSA/FEA Headquarters in Monroe Township (Mercer County)