Higher math standard planned for NY kindergartens

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — More requirements for math as early as kindergarten and teaching a greater understanding of literature are among new standards for New York's public schools to be in place by the 2011-12 school year.

The state Board of Regents on Tuesday approved changes in the statewide curriculum and testing to enforce the requirements, which include the higher standard for math in kindergarten and first grade.

Another will require students to be taught how to better interpret literature from a wide variety of genres and a spectrum of American and world cultures.

The board approved the curriculum changes for most grades after six months of research and discussion with more than 800 teachers and experts.

"We can now begin to build the sequenced, content-rich statewide curriculum and embedded assessments our children rightly deserve," said Education Commissioner David M. Steiner.

"This work has been shared by a great many of our stake holders and will involve countless more of them as we continue to create the future of public education in New York State using the standards approved today along with the curriculum and assessment we will put in place over the next three years," Steiner said.

The new kindergarten math standard will build on the instruction of basic math and counting concepts. The new standard will seek to develop understanding of ordinal numbers — first, second, third, etc., recognize and identify coins and use other methods that had been taught in later grades.

No new math standards were recommended for second through 12th grades.

New literature standards across most grades will seek to teach students to respond to literature "by employing knowledge of literary language, textual features, and forms to read and comprehend, reflect upon, and interpret literary texts from a variety of genres and a wide spectrum of American and world cultures."