New Jersey Student Learning Standards
In 1996, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the state's first set of academic standards called the Core Curriculum Content Standards. The standards described what students should know and be able to do upon completion of a thirteen-year public school education. Over the last twenty years, New Jersey's academic standards have laid the foundation for local district curricula that are used by teachers in their daily lesson plans.
Revised every five years, the standards provide local school districts with clear and specific benchmarks for student achievement in nine content areas. Developed and reviewed by panels of teachers, administrators, parents, students, and representatives from higher education, business, and the community, the standards are influenced by national standards, research-based practice, and student needs. The standards define a "Thorough and Efficient Education" as guaranteed in 1875 by the New Jersey Constitution. Currently, the standards are designed to prepare our students for college and careers by emphasizing high-level skills needed for tomorrow's world.
2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS)
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) supports schools, educators, and districts to ensure all of New Jersey’s 1.4 million students have equitable access to high-quality education and achieve academic excellence. To be prepared for postsecondary success, students must become effective thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators, and have the skills needed for high-skilled, high-demand jobs. The NJDOE’s standard review and revision process (N.J.A.C. 6A:8-2.1) provides us with an opportunity to ensure our standards are rigorous and relevant.
On June 3, 2020, the State Board of Education adopted the 2020 NJSLS in the following content areas:
- Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills;
- Comprehensive Health and Physical Education;
- Computer Science & Design Thinking;
- Social Studies;
- Visual and Performing Arts;
- and World Languages.
These standards truly represent a foundation from which districts will build coherent curriculum and instruction that prepare each New Jersey student with the knowledge and skills to succeed in our rapidly changing world. They will put New Jersey again at the forefront of national education by including the following:
- Climate Change across all content areas, leveraging the passion students have shown for this critical issue and providing them opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the science behind the changes and to explore the solutions our world desperately needs;
- Computer programming in all grade bands K-12, ensuring all students receive a 22nd-century education in the critical computational thinking skills that are the underpinning of so much of our work and so many of our transactions; and
- National standards for science and visual and performing arts, ensuring access to, and opportunity in, science and the arts, for every New Jersey public student.
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics were adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in May 2016 and are not currently under review. English Language Arts Instructional Units and Mathematics Instructional Units were created in collaboration with educator teams to assist districts in creating standards-based curriculum and assessment.
Curriculum Implementation Schedule
The NJDOE has heard from stakeholders in all 21 counties that the disruptions due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency have made it difficult to engage in curriculum writing processes this year as planned. Therefore, to provide relief to districts and to allow districts to focus their efforts and resources on ensuring safe and healthy school environments and providing high-quality instruction in a variety of learning environments, adjustments have been made to the original 2020 NJSLS curriculum implementation schedule.
The NJDOE will provide professional learning, resources, and technical assistance for districts as they prepare to implement the 2020 NJSLS. Districts are required to adopt curricula based on the 2020 NJSLS according to the following implementation schedule:
By September 2022
The standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics underwent a special review in 2015 and were adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in May 2016. As a result, all curricula must be realigned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in ELA and mathematics by September 2017. Please consult the crosswalks (LAL/math) to support district alignment work. In addition, a set of curricular frameworks for English language arts and mathematics have been designed to replace the model curriculum for these subject areas. The frameworks include the clustering of the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English language arts and mathematics into units, and they include the revised standards as indicated in red throughout the documents
In reviewing the new standards, it should be noted that they are built on the CCSS with revisions that create clarification or the refinement of instructional practices to allow for deeper understanding and application of content.
In addition, a set of curricular frameworks for English language arts and mathematics have been designed to replace the model curriculum for these subject areas. The frameworks include the clustering of the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English language arts and mathematics into units, and they include the revised standards as indicated in red throughout the documents.
The frameworks are an optional tool and can be found here: CCCS Frameworks.