Overview of Knowledge Standards
Missouri students must build a solid foundation of factual knowledge and basic skills in the traditional content areas. The statements listed here represent such a foundation in reading, writing, mathematics, world and American history, forms of government, geography, science, health/physical education and the fine arts. This foundation of knowledge and skills would also be incorporated into courses in vocational education and practical arts. Students would acquire this knowledge base at various grade levels and through various courses of study. Each grade level and each course sequence would build on the knowledge base acquired at a previous grade level or in a previous course.
These concepts and areas of study are indeed significant to success in school and in the workplace. However, they are neither inclusive nor are they likely to remain the same over the years. We live in an age in which ‘‘knowledge’’ grows at an ever-increasing rate, and our expectations for students must keep up with that expanding knowledge base.
Combining what students must know and what they must be able to do may require teachers and districts to adapt their curriculum. To assist districts in this effort, teachers from across the state are developing curriculum frameworks in each of the content areas. These frameworks show how others might balance concepts and abilities for students at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. These models, however, are only resources. Missouri law assures local control of education. Each district has the authority to determine the content of its curriculum, how it will be organized and how it will be presented.