“The primary aim of education is not to enable students to do well in school, but to help them do well in the lives they lead outside of the school.”

-Ray McNulty, ICLE
Iowa High School Summit, December 10, 2007

Iowa Core Curriculum

A great school system begins with a clear and rigorous set of expectations, or standards, that educators help all students reach. In Iowa, those academic standards are known as the Iowa Core. The Iowa Core standards describe what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through 12th grade in math, science, English language arts, and social studies. The Iowa Core also sets learning goals for 21st Century skills in areas such as financial and technological literacy. The Iowa Core is a set of common expectations for school districts across the state. It is not a curriculum, so decisions about how to help students meet learning goals remain in the hands of local schools and teachers.

These clear, consistent standards can provide peace of mind to parents, teachers, and other stakeholders who want students to have the best education possible. The Iowa Core sets appropriate expectations for all students, regardless of where they live or what school district they attend and reflects the real-world knowledge and skills students need to graduate from high school prepared for college or to enter the workforce.

Additional standards are linked on the individual content pages shown on the right.

21st Century Skills

As each Iowa student is provided access to essential concepts and meaningful learning experiences in the core academic content areas, it is imperative that we also look to 21st-century skills to build capacity in students so they are prepared to lead productive, satisfying lives. According to Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the 21st-century skills set “is the ticket to economic upward mobility in the new economy” (Gewertz, 2007). Business and industry is providing a very clear message that students need the skills to “work comfortably with people from other cultures, solve problems creatively, write and speak well, think in a multidisciplinary way, and evaluate information critically. And they need to be punctual, dependable, and industrious.” (Gewertz, 2007).

Iowa Core Essential Elements

The Iowa Core Essential Elements (EEs) are specific statements of knowledge and skills linked to the grade-level expectations identified in the Iowa Core Standards. The purpose of the EEs is to build a bridge from the content in the Iowa Core Standards to academic expectations for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Resources

Curriculum Review & Development

DCSD Elementary Curriculum Distributed Leadership Flowchart           DCSD 5 12 Curriculum Distributed Leadership Flowchart

Facilitator of Instruction and Assessment – Dana Bockman

District PLC Facilitator – Kylie Butler