What Will I Be Teaching?

The Common Core State Standards are currently available across the country in English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics.  The New Mexico Common Core State Standards (NMCCSS) are the most effective standards that our teachers have ever seen. The goal of these standards is to ensure that all students are successful beyond high school, whether they enter college, skills training or the workforce.  More information about the Common Core State Standards Initiative that New Mexico is part of, as well as the standards themselves, can be found at corestandards.org.

The CCSS vision of American students fully prepared for their future is consistent with New Mexico's guiding principles for the Common Core State Standards, which are to:

  • Prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in education and training after high school
  • Ensure students are globally competitive by exposing them to educational standards that are used throughout the world
  • Improve equity and economic opportunity for all students by having consistent expectations for achievement for all students
  • Clarify standards and expectations so that parents, teachers and students understand what is needed of them
  • Collaborate across districts and with other states so that there is sharing of resources and expertise in the development of new classroom materials, curriculum, teacher professional development and student exams based on best practices

Teachers can be confident that the current New Mexico standards provide a strong foundation for the transition.  Common Core State Standards are, in some cases, closely matched to our state’s current standards, as evidenced by a study from WestEd (downloads on right). They also strengthen the NM standards by targeting the skills and knowledge that are most critical for students to understand and by focusing on depth, not breadth.

In the New Mexico Common Core State Standards, what teachers will find different is how the standards are being implemented.  There will be a host of information available on-line and in communities in our state that will help teachers prepare to meet the new content requirements and add the teaching practices for English Language Arts and Math to their methods. New Mexico districts, as well as the NMPED, are partnering with respected local and national groups to develop strategies that serve educators and students.  Alliances are forming among and between school districts, educational foundations and professional associations, universities and community colleges, and parent and stakeholder advocacy groups that will help get the work done, and New Mexico will benefit from sharing resources and expertise with other states. This extraordinary opportunity for collaboration is not only practical but necessary. Working together across the state and in regional and inter-district partnerships, we can more easily understand and manage the shift in expectations for teaching and learning that we will be experiencing in the New Mexico Common Core State Standards.

The standards describe what students must learn and in which grade spans learning must take place, but they do not dictate how teachers should teach or what instructional materials they will use. Our superintendents, principals and teachers will decide how best to help students achieve the standards.
By the 2012-2013 school year New Mexico K-3 teachers will be responsible for teaching the new standards, and by the 2013-2014 school year, all New Mexico teachers will be teaching the new standards. NMPED as well as your districts are creating documents and plans to guide educators in making decisions about how to implement the standards.

New Mexico is a member of PARCC parcconline.org, one of two multi-state consortiums developing new assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. These assessments will be used statewide in 2014-15.

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