Policy 2520, previously called Instructional Goals and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, has been renamed “Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools.” The content standards are broad statements that serve as an organizing umbrella for grade level objectives and performance descriptors.
The content standards highlight what students should know and be able to do in all content areas. The core content areas– reading and English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies– were the first to be revised and are the only standards currently on comment.
In the new policy, each content area begins with a set of standards followed by grade level instructional objectives that build and advance students’ knowledge. A new component in the standards is the inclusion of “performance descriptors.” These descriptors give teachers and parents more information about a student’s level of achievement.
Beginning in April 2001, committees of educators across the state began the task of rewriting the standards to reflect both national standards and current educational research in best practices.
Early drafts of committee work were shared throughout the summer with teachers and principals attending conferences, workshops and other professional development activities. The policy that the State Board placed on comment today incorporates the suggestions, input and recommendations of those educators.
State Board member Barbara Fish of Parkersburg, who attended a summer conference where the content standards were being discussed, said, “This is one of the most critical policies for educators and students. It drives the curriculum and impacts student achievement at every grade level.”
State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart noted, “The educators who helped develop the standards worked hard to consolidate and clarify the objectives to produce a picture of the curriculum that is clear in its intent and manageable in its implementation. We believe that the expertise of the educators who wrote the standards– coupled with the input we hope to receive from the public– will result in a document that ensures rigor in the curriculum and addresses the needs of all our learners.”
The policy may be viewed on the department website beginning October 15 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/ Comments may be submitted online or by mail to: Office of Instructional Services, West Virginia Department of Education, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Room 330, Charleston, WV 25305-0330.