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K-12 Curriculum & Instruction Directory 
. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .

K-12 CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION/
NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY

DIRECTOR :: Robin McCoy

MISSION :: Our mission is to provide leadership and support to educators across the State of North Carolina to build and reinforce the Common Core State Standards and North Carolina Essential Standards, to implement the North Carolina State Board of Education goals, and to inform, clarify and disseminate state and federal policies and laws.

VISION :: To help ensure that every student graduates from high school ready for a post-secondary education or career.

NOTE :: Various file formats are used on this page that may require download. If larger than 1mb, it will take longer to download. For instructions or more information, please visit our download page.

STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY

North Carolina's Standard Course of Study defines the appropriate content standards for each grade level and each high school course to provide a uniform set of learning standards for every public school in North Carolina. 

Based on a philosophy of teaching and learning that is consistent with current research, exemplary practices, and national standards, the Standard Course of Study is designed to support North Carolina educators in providing the most challenging education possible for the state’s students. The goal of these standards is to prepare all students to become career and college ready.

With these standards in mind, local school leaders make decisions about the comprehensive curriculum that they choose to deliver to students so that they can reach the content standards for every grade and subject. In addition, local schools and districts may offer electives and coursework that is above and beyond the Standard Course of Study's content standards. Classroom instruction is a partnership between the state, which sets content standards in the Standard Course of Study, and local educators who determine which curriculum materials they will use to deliver instruction to reach the standards.

The Standard Course of Study was completely overhauled in the past few years, and the new standards were implemented for the first time in 2012-13. This initiative is part of a long-term trend to update and improve the standards as expectations change and as new research and information become available. Currently, North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study consists of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics and the North Carolina Essential Standards in all other subjects, including social studies, the arts, healthful living, career and technical education, and world languages.

STANDARDS AREA


COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AND ESSENTIAL STANDARDS

Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, the new Common Core State Standards and the North Carolina Essential standards will be taught and assessed.


Common Core State Standards
North Carolina adopted the Common Core State Standards in K-12 Mathematics and K-12 English Language Arts released by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. With the adoption of these state-led education standards, North Carolina is in the first group of states to embrace clear and consistent goals for learning to prepare children for success in college and work.


Essential Standards
The Essential Standards includes the standards for the newly adopted curriculum in the following areas: English as a Second Language, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Arts Education and Healthful Living.

Common Core State Standards and Essential Standard Resources


SELECTED LINKS

Career Technical Education
The mission of career-technical education (CTE) is to help empower students for effective participation in an international economy as world-class workers and citizens. Competency-based courses are offered in eight program areas, with each area having school-based, work-based, or community-based learning opportunities.

Extended Content Standards
The State Board of Education approved new Extended Content Standards based on the State Common Core Standards and the State Essential Standards. These will be operational for the 2012-13 school year. Questions regarding the Extended Content Standards should be directed to the Exceptional Children division.

Occupational Course of Study
The State Board of Education approved new Standards for the Occupational Course of Study based on the State Common Core Standards and the State Essential Standards. These will be operational for the 2012-13 school year. Questions regarding the Occupational Course of Study should be directed to the Exceptional Children division.

Quick Reference Guides for the NC Standard Course of Study, Grades K-8
The Quick Reference Guides for The North Carolina Standard Course of Study serve as resources for K-8 teachers as they plan instruction to implement the North Carolina Standard Course of Study across multiple disciplines. The Reference Guides contain the standards and objectives for all of the Common Core State Standards, North Carolina Essential Standards, and North Carolina Extended Content Standards.

Graduation Project: Standards of Quality and Verification Process for High School Accountability
(pdf, 586kb)

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
Smarter Balanced is a state-led consortium developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics that are designed to help prepare all students to graduate high school college- and career-ready.

ACT Resources for North Carolina

State Literacy Plan
(pdf, 1007kb)