In 1996, the New York State Board of Regents adopted learning standards for all content (subject) areas. Since then, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has issued a series of core curricula, which provide an additional level of specificity to these learning standards. The core curricula are particularly important to local curriculum developers/educators since they contain the State’s expectations of what students must know and be able to do in relation to the content areas. For each learning standard, the core curricula present key ideas (broad, unifying, general statements of what students need to know) and performance indicators (statements of what students should do to provide evidence that they understand the key idea). These core curricula are the foundation upon which State assessments are aligned and developed.
New York State core curricula are not designed as local school/district curricula. Rather, these core curricula provide assistance to local schools/districts who maintain responsibility to design a curriculum that meets the needs of their students. The core curricula respect the tradition of local choice in New York State that empowers educators to select texts, identify products, and use a rich array of instructional strategies and activities to meet student needs.