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Vol. 46, No. 53
July 26, 2012

New Model Curriculum Units Available for Missouri Educators

State-level developed units available for English language arts and mathematics

Missouri is taking its first steps towards offering comprehensive curriculum aligned with state and national standards with the release of new online model curriculum. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released model curriculum as a state-level resource for mathematics and English language arts educators in Missouri. The units available represent the first phase of the Department’s curriculum project with the ultimate goal of developing a curriculum in all content areas that align with state and national standards.

"The first goal of the Top 10 by 20 initiative is ensuring all Missouri students graduate high school ready for college and a career. Reaching that goal requires districts to implement more rigorous college- and career-ready standards for all students," said Sharon Helwig, assistant commissioner for the Office of College and Career Readiness at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. "These new model curriculum units illustrate the necessary shifts in instruction to support students’ success in the areas of English language arts and mathematics."

College- and career-readiness is not only the number one goal for Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, but it was also Principle 1 of Missouri’s ESEA/NCLB waiver application. Federal education officials approved Missouri’s waiver application at the end of June. However, districts are not required to use the state’s model curriculum. The project is intended to provide needed curriculum support to Missouri districts as we transition to new standards.

The draft model curriculum was created by educators throughout the state during late winter 2011 / early spring 2012 and is aligned with Missouri's Core Academic Standards in addition to grade- and course-level expectations. The units include instructional strategies and activities, supportive resources, and formative and summative assessments.

Online access to the model curriculum units is available on the Department's website at dese.mo.gov/ccr/modelcurriculum. Only individuals connected to a Missouri public school district, and who have a user account for the Department's web applications, will be allowed to access the units.

The 2012-2013 school year will be considered a field testing year for the draft model curriculum units. The Department requests feedback from Missouri educators on the structure and content of the units in order for the state staff to make adjustments as needed.

The English language arts and mathematics units represent the first phase in the development of a comprehensive curriculum, which will eventually cover all academic areas. K-12 units developed in social studies, including government will be onboard soon.