What is the difference between Curriculum and Standards?
Standards outline what a student needs to know, understand, and be able to do by the end of each grade. Standards build across grade levels in a progression of increasing understanding and through a range of cognitive demand levels. Standards are adopted at the state level by the State Board of Education (A.R.S. §§15-701 and 15-701.01). Arizona retains authority to approve and modify academic standards; there is no federal law requiring the adoption of specific standards.
Curriculum includes all the resources used for teaching and learning the standards (textbooks, reading material, lesson plans). Curriculum is adopted at a local level by districts and schools. Neither the State Board nor the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has the authority to adopt or mandate school curriculum. Under A.R.S. §§15-721 and 15-722, local governing boards (both district and charter) have the sole authority to adopt curriculum via public meetings, allowing for community input regarding what instructional materials are used in classrooms.
I am looking for some clarification on the academic standards versus competencies. Can you please explain the difference between the two?
Standards detail what a student needs to know, understand, and be able to do by the end of each grade. Standards build across grade levels in a progression of increasing understanding and through a range of cognitive demand levels. Standards are adopted at the state level by the State Board of Education. They are required to be implemented by schools. Courses in schools are based on the standards. For example, no matter what high school a student attends, his/her freshman English class will teach the same standards. Standards can be taught using different curricula and instructional methods, as those are determined at the district/school level, but the standards are the same for the whole state.
Competencies prescribe best practices in specific areas, such as Arizona’s Social-Emotional Competencies, but they are not required by statute. Competencies allow school systems to adopt and implement in a manner that is tailored to the specific needs of the students and community.
Where do I find Specific standards?
Please click on the following links to take you directly to each page.