Imma Canelli, Deputy Superintendent
The Common Core State Standards
and NHPS Curriculum

The Common Core State Standards are a set of learning standards designed to help students master the skills necessary to succeed in college, compete globally for the best jobs, and become our future leaders. They were developed by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) with input from teachers, parents, school administrators and educational experts nationwide.
Connecticut adopted the Common Core State Standards in June of 2010, joining 45 other states.  All of these states now share the same clear expectations for student learning in grades kindergarten through twelve.  This allows for unprecedented collaboration between teachers, pooling of resources, and clarity about goals for student learning.  
 In Mathematics, the Common Core State Standards include far fewer topics than previously taught so that teachers can go more in depth with important concepts.  There is a logical progression from grade to grade with an emphasis on students apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
In English Language Arts, the Common Core State Standards requires that students be read and comprehend complex texts and read more non-fiction and informational texts than in the past.  When writing and speaking, students will have to cite evidence from the text, make arguments, and recognize different sides of arguments.  Students will develop a greater range of academic language as well: the vocabulary that helps them to comprehend a variety of texts and participate in more sophisticated discussions at all grade levels.   These skills are intended to be developed not only in ELA, but in all the subject areas. 

In New Haven, teachers and administrators have been working for the past three years to incorporate the necessary “shifts” in instructional practice required by the CCCS into our classrooms and curriculum.  Working in collaboration with leaders at the State Department of Education as well as our colleagues across the state and the nation, we continue to gather knowledge about best practices for implementing the CCSS in all of our classrooms.  On each of our Curriculum Department pages, you can read about how each of our subject areas are incorporating CCSS strategies into their lessons (see tabs at left).
The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the new test that will accompany the implementation of the CCSS. The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) for English Language Arts and Mathematics will not be given in New Haven this year.  We will pilot the new Smarter Balanced Assessment this spring 2014.  Beginning in 2014-15, we will be administering the actual Smarter Balanced Assessment to all students in grades 3-8 and 11.  To learn more about the Smarter Balanced testing in New Haven and  the Common Core State Standards, go to the  NHPS Common Core Page.