California’s standards-based education guides the content that students should master in each grade and shapes curriculum development at every grade level. Teachers and local school officials, in collaboration with families and community partners, use these standards to help students achieve academic success. In August 2010, the California State Board of Education adopted new Common Core State Standards with California additions both for mathematics and English language arts. While the implementation of these new standards is only just beginning, this document provides an overview of some of the forthcoming significant changes.
Individual curriculum frameworks offer an extensive blueprint for implementation of a subject’s content standards across all grade levels. However, educators new to a grade may find that the comprehensive subject matter approach to a single grade level better serves their particular current need. For a parent or guardian, this new document should prove especially useful in getting a quick but thorough look at each ofthe subjects their student is or will be studying.
The diversity of California’s students presents unique and challenging opportunities for both students and educators alike. WhileCalifornia's rigorous academic standards and accountability system have led to consistent gains in proficiency by all subgroups of students, the data continues to reveal an achievement gap and the necessity to focus new ways to address the needs of the groups of students whose achievement is behind. Through sections reflecting recent research on universal access and providing support for English learners, this document emphasizes the ongoing need to close the achievement gap, improve student achievement at all levels, and create a comprehensive system ofeducational equality in student learning.
Everyone involved in the education of children shares in the responsibility of enriching students’ knowledge and understanding. Only through our continuing research for and development of improved programs and instruction will students achieve their true potential for academic success. A Look at Kindergarten through Grade Five in California Public Schools serves as another tool for improving the academic achievement of California’s students and represents the California Department of Education’s ongoing commitment to provide resources and guidance to parents and educators committed to making a difference in the future of our students.
Jack O’Connell, StateSuperintendent of Public Instruction