The Georgia Department of Education has released a draft of new K-12 language arts standards for a 30-day public comment period.
“This process began in 2019 with a commitment to ensuring the best possible academic standards for our state—standards that are Georgia-owned and Georgia-grown, clear, age- and developmentally appropriate, and laser-focused on the preparation students need for the future,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.
The proposed standards are broken down into four grade ranges: kindergarten to second grade, third to fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth to twelfth grade.
Across each range, or “grade span,” the DOE has expectations for what students should learn in each grade. The standards are grouped into “big ideas” and broken down into expectations.
For example, between third and fifth grade there are three big ideas that students should learn about: usage, mechanics, and vocabulary.
There are standards to be met under each big idea — under mechanics, the standards are punctuation and capitalization.
The punctuation standard expects students to be able to use apostrophes in third grade. By fifth, they are expected to be able use hyphens to join words.
“The standards feature built-in learning progressions across grade spans and within grade-level concepts, allowing teachers to remediate or accelerate learning as needed,” the DOE said.
More than 300 of Georgia’s language arts teachers authored the new benchmarks, which have already been reviewed by a committee of citizens and an Academic Review Committee of college representatives, businesses leaders, and child development experts.
The DOE has not yet developed tests that measure how students meet the proposed standards.
If approved, the DOE will begin developing assessments and training teachers using the new standards at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.