NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: JANUARY 7, 2010


State Board of Education members spent time reviewing the proposed new curriculum standards for K-12 science courses during their meeting this week. The new standards are the latest deliverable in North Carolina’s Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) approved by the State Board as part of its "Framework for Change." January marks the second month in which the science standards have come before Board members for discussion. Draft 4.0 of the N.C. Standard Course of Study Science Essential Standards will be posted online Jan. 18 at Public feedback will continue to be reviewed and incorporated as the standards are finalized. The Board will vote for approval of the new science curriculum in the next few months so it can be implemented no later than the 2012-13 school year.

"One of the many exciting things about this work is that we are very clearly defining our standards," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "The new standards do not prescribe how teachers teach, but they do identify what is essential for student learning. We have focused on clarifying what students need to know and should able to do in each subject area in order to be globally competitive in the future."

The State Board of Education has already approved the essential standards for K-12 Mathematics, English 10, the Occupational Course of Study and K-12 Information and Technology at its meeting in September and they will go into effect for the 2011-12 school year. Each new set of standards is the result of efforts of statewide writing teams comprised of classroom teachers, school administrators, content and curriculum experts from the NCDPI, university and community college faculty and national experts on curriculum design and testing. Writing teams study standards from other states and countries and meet with and receive feedback from members of the business community and the public before the revisions go before the State Board for approval.

"We know that the new science standards move some topics to different grade levels, and it takes time and effort to change," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "Our curriculum teams have looked carefully at research from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other outstanding organizations. The final essential standards will represent what is best for science learning and we are committed to supporting educators in every way possible as they transition to this new course of study."

Writing teams are currently working on essential standards for K-9 and 11-12 English Language Arts, K-12 social studies, foreign languages, healthful living and fine arts which are projected to go into effect in the 2012-13 school year. In addition, NCDPI staff members continue to develop teacher "toolkits" for each content area and are working on plans for professional development to help roll out new standards to educators across the state.

For more information on ACRE and the essential standards, please visit or contact the Communications division at 919.807.3450

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.