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NE Standards Revision

Development process

Nebraska Revised Statute 79-760.01 requires the Nebraska State Board of Education to “adopt measurable academic content standards for at least the grade levels required for statewide assessment” (Academic Content Standards, 2015). The statute specifies that those standards shall cover the subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and, that the State Board of Education shall develop a plan to review and update standards for those subject areas every seven years. The revised statute is effective as of August 30, 2015. In addition to the content area standards required by statute, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) developed content area standards for Fine Arts, Physical Education, Health Education, and World Languages, as well as course-based content standards for Career and Technical Education. Although not required by law, the standards provide schools a framework for ensuring quality teaching and learning for all content areas offered in Nebraska schools.

The Nebraska Department of Education uses a consistent process to develop and revise content area standards. The goal of this process is to develop K-12 content area standards that, when mastered, would allow a student to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing postsecondary coursework without the need for remediation. The collaborative writing process utilizes the expertise of Nebraska educators and includes representation from all stages of Nebraska’s educational system (i.e. early childhood education, K–12 education, and postsecondary education). The department ensures that the educators reflect all sizes of schools and all parts of the state. In addition, representatives from the regional Educational Service Units (ESUs) are included as part of the writing teams. The development process includes opportunities for feedback from business and industry representatives as well as local community members, parents, school administrators, and educators not part of the writing process.

Upon approval by the Nebraska State Board of Education and pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statute 79-7601.01, school districts have one year to adopt the state-approved content standards or adopt standards deemed as equal to or more rigorous than the state-approved content standards in the subject areas of reading and writing (English Language Arts), mathematics, science, and social studies (Academic Content Standards, 2015). School districts are encouraged to adopt the state-approved standards in other content areas (Fine Arts, Physical Education, Health Education, World Languages and Career and Technical Education) within one year of being adopted by the State Board of Education.

This information was taken from NDE’s Content Area Standards Reference Guide.  The reference guide, including the references mentioned above, is located here.