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SCVNews.com | State Schools Chief Announces New Standards for Learning English | 11-07-2012
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Tom Torlakson

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Wednesday that the State Board of Education formally adopted new English Language Development Standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and designed to help English learners build critical knowledge and skills.

“These new standards will help California’s English learners make academic progress as they also develop their skills in English,” Torlakson said. “The teachers, researchers and scholars who helped develop these new standards have done incredible work that will help every child receive a world-class education and graduate ready to contribute to the future of our state.”

“The State Board’s adoption of the English Language Development Standards aligned to the Common Core represents a historic moment for California’s English learners,” said Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education. “California is leading the nation in developing an instructional blueprint that melds content learning and English language learning. “

The new ELD Standards are aligned with California’s Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

The standards describe the key knowledge, skills and abilities in core areas of English language development that students learning English as a new language need to achieve in grade-level content. The standards are designed to provide rigorous content in English language development.

The new standards were developed over the last year by the California Department of Education (CDE), which reviewed the latest research, theory and best practices in the field. The Department also held focus groups, convened a panel of experts and held public hearings and stakeholder meetings to receive input on the standards.

 

The California Department of Education (CDE) is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, visit http://www.cde.ca.gov or by mobile device at http://m.cde.ca.gov/.

 

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 Torlakson Announces State Approval
of Instructional Materials Aligned to Common Core State Standards

 

SACRAMENTO—Providing a crucial bridge for schools as they shift to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the State Board of Education approved the first supplemental instructional materials aligned to the new standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

“Approval of these materials gives schools another new tool as they work to bring the new Common Core standards to life in California’s classrooms, providing a practical way to prepare children for the challenges of a constantly changing world,” Torlakson said. “These materials—and those that will follow—focus on the key knowledge and skills students need for college and a career.”

“Today’s action by the State Board reflects the concerted efforts of the state’s policy, legislative, and administrative bodies to put instructional materials in the hands of local districts to assist them as they transition to California’s Common Core State Standards,” said State Board of Education President Michael Kirst. “The State Board is working diligently to respond to the needs of students, teachers, and administrators as they implement the Common Core State Standards in their schools.”

Instructional materials include textbooks, software programs, online or Web-based information, and other components that provide students with academic content to support their educational growth. The approval of the supplemental instructional materials should not be confused with a state adoption of instructional materials. Instead, these approved supplemental instructional materials bridge the gap between what school districts are currently using and the CCSS that include California additions adopted in 2010 by the State Board of Education.

California is among 46 states that adopted the CCSS. This state-led initiative establishes consistent, clear education standards for English-language arts and mathematics across the nation. The standards are research-based and internationally benchmarked, meaning they were informed by the practices of high-achieving nations around the world.

Torlakson started a process in 2011 to review supplemental materials aligned to the CCSS, because developing new curriculum frameworks and instructional materials was suspended in 2009 by the State Legislature and Governor until July 1, 2015. To expand that process, Senate Bill 140 (Lowenthal) was approved to help to create a shared and cooperative effort, involving teachers, administrators, and local and state educational leaders.

Publishers submitted 42 items for review. A group of reviewers were appointed by the State Board of Education in March 2012 and trained by California Department of Education staff. Of the 42 submissions, the reviewers recommended for approval by the State Board of Education, 12 supplemental programs for English language arts and seven for mathematics.

The materials cover kindergarten through grade eight in English-language arts and kindergarten through grade seven in mathematics. Because the 1997 California standards and the CCSS for mathematics do not match at grade eight, supplements for grade eight adopted mathematics programs were not part of the review.

For more information on the approval of the materials, please visit the California Department of Education Web page, Supplemental Instructional Materials Review.

Torlakson’s efforts in moving toward the CCSS are a cornerstone of his Blueprint for Great Schools initiative, which provides a vision and direction for California’s education system, including a focus on 21st Century learning, meeting the needs of the whole child, and rebuilding the ranks of California’s teachers with resources and respect.

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