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The standards establish guidelines for English language arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Because students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards promote the literacy skills and concepts required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines.
For more than a decade, research studies of mathematics education in high-performing countries have concluded that mathematics education in the United States must become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement in this country. To deliver on this promise, the mathematics standards are designed to address the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.”
These standards are designed to stimulate students' interest in science and set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do throughout their K-12 science education to be prepared for college, careers, and citizenship.
The aim of social studies is the promotion of civic competence—the knowledge, intellectual processes, and democratic dispositions required of students to be active and engaged participants in public life. Although civic competence is not the only responsibility of social studies nor is it exclusive to the field, it is more central to social studies than to any other subject area in schools. Civic competence rests on this commitment to democratic values, and requires the abilities to use knowledge about one’s community, nation, and world; apply inquiry processes; and employ skills of data collection and analysis, collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving. Young people who are knowledgeable, skillful, and committed to democracy are necessary to sustaining and improving our democratic way of life, and participating as members of a global community.
Research has shown that planned, sequential instruction in physical education promotes lifelong physical activity. A comprehensive physical education program is designed to develop basic movement skills, sports skills, and physical fitness as well as to enhance mental, social and emotional activities. Further research has shown that physical activity among adolescents is consistently related to higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and stress. Physical activity is also positively associated with academic performance. Students who participate in school physical education programs do not experience any harmful effects on their standardized test scores, though less time is available for other academic subjects.
Standards are developed to establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels—from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.
Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. We must educate our students so they are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.
Visual Arts include the traditional fine arts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture; media arts including film, graphic communications, animation, and emerging technologies; architectural, environmental, and industrial arts such as urban, interior, product, and landscape design; folk arts; and works of art such as ceramics, fibers, jewelry, works in wood, paper, and other materials.
Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles
Computer science teaches students design, logical reasoning, and problem solving - all valuable well beyond the computer science classroom. The ability to create and adapt new technologies distinguishes computer science from computer literacy, which focuses more on using existing technologies (e.g., word processing, spreadsheets).
Personal finance education should start early at both home and school. Ideally, personal finance concepts should be taught in elementary, middle and high school, and should continue into college. In mathematics, you start with counting, move on to addition and subtraction, and then move on to division and multiplication. You need to learn letters before you can read. Personal finance education should be a cumulative process, with age-appropriate topics taught each school year. The reality is that many states and school districts do not provide any substantive personal finance education until high school, if at all.