The Utah Core Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The New Utah Core

Mathematics

The Benefits of a New Math Core
  • First, the structure of the new math standards are in line with that of countries with high mathematics achievement. Thus, this is a transition to "world-class" mathematics instruction for Nebo School District.
  • Second, the new standards better prepare all students for post-secondary employment, and college and career readiness as they graduate from high school.

    By studying topics more in depth and by examining the interrelationship among Mathematical concepts, students will be better prepared for the ever increasing skills needed for our rapidly advancing technical economy.
  • Third, the new core’s structure allows students more flexibility to accelerate or slow down their Mathematical learning as they progress through their secondary education.
How will students transfer to the new math Utah core?
  • Students in grades 6 and 9 will transition to the new core in the school year 2011-2012.
  • Students in k-5, 7 and 10 will transition in 2012-2013.
  • Students in 8 and 11 will transition in the year 2013-2014. Courses in middle and high schools mathematics will still be differentiated to address the needs of students at varied levels (see www.nebo.edu/core)
  • Course names have changed in secondary math however, along with additional advanced concepts students will learn all traditional secondary mathematics topics.
  • Courses will be recognized by colleges, universities and NCAA as preparation for college and scholarships.

Language Arts

Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects are states’ efforts to ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school. The K-12 Language Arts standards progress from kindergarten through twelfth grade to meet this goal. Students in grades k-5 and 7-12 will transition to the new core in the school year 2011-2012. Grade 6 will transition in school year 2012-2013.

Language Arts Standards are:
  • Aligned with college and work expectations.
  • Rigorous in content and application of knowledge through high-order skills.
  • Built upon strengths and lessons of current state standards.
  • Internationally benchmarked so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.
  • The college and career readiness standards are the same in grades K through 12; however, text complexity and skill specificity differ at each level.
  • There are three genres of writing (narrative, informative/explanatory, and argument) implemented at each grade level.
  • The overall focus of the core is on the depth of comprehension in reading and writing, not on the breadth of information covered.
  • Core instruction will be based on thematic content units not on strategies and sub-skills in isolation.
  • Students will be assessed through performance tasks, i.e., authentic reading and writing.
  • The Core does not include scripted lessons and teachers will use their skills in determining how to teach the concepts.

Comprehensive Balanced Literacy will continue to be part of the curriculum in elementary grades, with shared reading, guided reading, and writing blocks.

What About Other Subjects?

Although the new Utah core addresses specific content changes in mathematics and language arts, it also includes specific enhancements in other content areas: science, social studies, fine arts, world languages, health & P.E., career and technical education etc. In all subject areas we will continue to focus on what is needed to provide the skills necessary for our students to receive a 21st century education.

Why A Standard Core?

  • Core standards will help ensure students are receiving a high quality education consistently from school to school and state to state.
  • We need college and career ready standards. Data shows that even in high-performing states students are graduating and passing all the required tests and still require remediation in their post-secondary work.
  • We need students moving from our colleges and universities into the workplace, ready to compete in the emerging global marketplace.

How Was the Utah Core Developed?

The Standards evolved from a carefully researched growing body of evidence.

  • This evidence included scholarly research; surveys on what skills are required of students entering college and workforce training programs; assessment data identifying college and career ready performance; and comparisons to standards from high‐performing states and nations.
  • We need college and career ready standards. Data shows that even in high-performing states students are graduating and passing all the required tests and still require mediation in their post-secondary work. We need students moving from our colleges and universities into the workplace, ready to compete in the emerging global marketplace.

Strengths of the new Core

  • Aligned with expectations for college & career success
  • Consistent across all states
  • Includes both content and application of knowledge through high-order skills
  • Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.

More information

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PDF icon Utah Core State Standards.pdf4.27 MB