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About the P-12 Learning Standards

P-12 Learning Standards

Learning standards articulate what all students should know and be able to do as a result of skilled instruction in subject areas and at grade levels.  

The Board of Regents has adopted Learning Standards in grades P-12 in the following areas:

Standards vs. Curriculum

The NYS Learning Standards are not a curriculum.  The New York State Education Department does not require, recommend, endorse, or advise on curriculum.  All curriculum and instructional decisions are made at the local level.  Districts and schools choose and/or develop curricula, curricular materials, and instruction to meet the individual needs of their students, and to support all students in gaining the skills and knowledge articulated in the NYS Learning Standards.

  • Curriculum is the scope and sequence of learning experiences taught in a course or grade level to provide students with opportunities to achieve knowledge and skills as defined by applicable learning standards.  Typically divided into units and lessons, curriculum includes an outline of the scope of content, concepts, and skills to be taught, the sequence in which they are to be taught, the amount of time allocated for the content, and the materials and assessments to be used throughout instruction. In New York State, curriculum is developed and adopted locally and must be aligned with applicable State Learning Standards.  
  • Curricular materials are the educational resources used to support instruction and learning in a classroom. These can include, but are not limited to, textbooks, multimedia content, on-line resources, workbooks, teacher manuals, and lesson plans.
  • Curriculum guidance provides information to assist teachers, schools, and districts to develop, refine, and enhance local standards-based curriculum, instruction, and learning experiences.  These can include tools used with local curriculum to evaluate its effectiveness, suggested activities or instructional practices that enhance teaching and learning, and curriculum maps or guides for curriculum development or selection.

Standards Revision Process

Section 211 of Education Law requires periodic review and evaluation of the existing P-12 learning standards to determine if the standards should be strengthened, modified, or combined to provide adequate opportunity for students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in employment or postsecondary education and to function productively as civic participants upon graduation from high school.

Changes to the Standards impact all levels of the P-20 educational system, and across multiple areas (curriculum, assessment, professional development, education of students with disabilities and English language learners, data, accountability, higher education, and teacher preparation.  Revising the NYS Learning Standards involves a complex, multi-year, resource-intensive process; input from multiple stakeholders; and regulatory amendment.  

Call for Expertise

As there are currently no plans to review or revise the NYS Learning Standards in any content area, the Department is not currently seeking content area experts.