In 2010, new learning standards for English/language arts and mathematics were adopted by the state of Ohio. Six years into implementation of these standards, the state has reviewed them and made recommendations that “tweak” the standards based on real-life experience.
Learning standards outline the “goal” of what is being taught. For instance, money concepts were previously only taught in second grade. Based on what teachers are actually doing in the classroom, this standard was revised to include portions of money concepts in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Curriculum, on the other hand, is “how” those standards are taught. While standards are set at the state level, each school district has complete freedom to choose its own curriculum. For instance, Milford would choose the materials to teach the money concepts; or the books students read to meet the standards goal of determining themes of a text, and so on.
Milford’s curriculum has always taught well above the standards. However, to confirm what these changes mean for us, I asked Dr. Jill Chin, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, to provide her perspective: “The standards were revised as part of a scheduled periodic review. Most of the revisions are clarifications in language, adding terms to the glossary for better explanations, cleaning up language, and adding hyperlinks for additional resources. I will be reviewing each set of standards to make any adjustments that are necessary. However, the revisions should not require any major changes to curriculum nor any new programs.”
For more information, here are some publications from the state: