North Carolina has had a Standard Course of Study since 1898. Since that time, the curriculum has been revised periodically to reflect the changing needs of students and society. The most recent total revision of the state curriculum occurred in 1985. The 1985 Standard Course of Study reflected the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to function effectively in an industrial age. It also included efforts to develop mature thinkers and problem solvers.

In the years since 1985, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in the needs of business and industry, and society in general. These changes have been collectively heralded as the information age. The 21st century will bring new challenges in preparing students for the demands of an information age. While students must attain enabling skills such as reading, writing, and computing, they must also attain the new basics which include creative thinking and problem solving, interpersonal skills, negotiation and teamwork. Also since 1985, all the major content areas have developed National Standards which guide curriculum revisions. Major recent school reform efforts such as the ABC Plan with strong accountability components have necessitated an even more clearly defined state curriculum.

These changes, coupled with more in-depth learning at a much higher level, provide the foundation for current revisions to the Standard Course of Study. The revisions are futuristic in outlook. They look at what students will need to know and be able to do to be successful in the 21st century.

Howard N. Lee
Chairman, State Board of Education

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