Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards
Across the state of Arizona school districts are implementing new academic standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies in grades K-12 that will help your child have the academic knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, career, and life. The Standards will not only improve what your child learns, but how he or she learns by teaching critical-thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication skills. The new Standards are more relevant to the real world and reflect the academic knowledge and skills that your child will need to be successful in college and career. This is different than previous standards, where content-specific subjects were the driver behind those standards. The core subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies shave moved away from this, and have embraced the academic knowledge and skills that intersect those required in the workplace of the 21st Century. With your support and our partnership, these Standards will better prepare your child to achieve in K-12 and beyond.
How Were These Standards Developed?
The College and Career Readiness Standards are a part of a larger initiative, led by a coalition of states to raise the bar to ensure students are prepared for college and career. States worked together to develop the Standards and to date, 46 states and the District of Columbia are working to implement them and develop assessments that will be consistent across states. A diverse group of teachers, subject matter experts, parents, and school administrators - including some of Arizona’s best and brightest leaders – worked together to create the Standards that reflect both our aspirations for our children and the realities of the classroom. The Standards were also benchmarked against countries with top-notch education programs, to ensure our future generations are ready to compete in the global marketplace.
Where do textbooks fit into Curriculum?
Oftentimes, the use of textbooks is thought by many to constitute "curriculum." The term curriculum comes from Latin, and roughly translated means "the run of the course." Therefore, it is the position of the Humboldt Unified School District that the curriculum is rooted in the Arizona State Board of Education-adopted Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards, which can be found here. The curriculum reflects a need to provide standards that are consistent with the work done by the Arizona State Board of Education, the Arizona Department of Education, and the Arizona State Legislature to craft these standards which comprise the curriculum. Further, the curriculum is also enhanced by the work of Dr. Robert Marzano based on identifying standards that represent critical content backed by numerous years' of research on Standards and Assessments.
Humboldt Unified School District is fortunate to have a collaborative, comprehensive review process for adopting the textbooks that are used in accessing its curriculum. This collaborative, comprehensive committee will: Recommend resources that will support and enrich the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels of students served; Recommend resources that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, critical analysis of differing sides of issues, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and recognition of various societal values; and Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the recommendation of resources of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection of resources appropriate for the complete education of all students. Further, any potential textbook that is due to be adopted appears on display at the Humboldt Unified School District Office Campus in its main office for at least 60 days prior to Board Action.
How Does this Impact You and How Can You Play a Role?
By having the same common, consistent and rigorous standards and assessment across states, parents, schools, districts and states will be able to see how well a is performing in a way that is not possible now. This will ensure our students successfully meet the necessary goals and remain competitive. The Standards will smooth the transition of a family move by enabling your child’s new school to assess a student’s abilities and determine where they need support using the same set of common standards.
The Standards will also allow parents, students and teachers to be on the same page and set high expectations together for student learning. As a parent, this is a great opportunity for you to support your child’s learning at home and in school. At home, you can play an important role in setting high expectations and supporting your child’s achievements in learning. At school, you can create a strong working relationship with your child’s teacher by having ongoing conversations about your child’s progress.
We are on track to implementing these Standards, and working hard to make sure our students transition successfully. Your support is critical. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me. You can also visit the “Families” section of Arizona's Department of Education for more information.
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