The New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) build on the best of existing standards and reflect the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in college, career, and life.
The ELA Standards were revised in 2016, with the recommendations of teams of teachers, parents, administrators, supervisors and other stakeholders and reflect the strong beliefs that
- Literature and informational (nonfiction) text are important for our students and should maintain their rightful place in our classrooms;
- Background knowledge and motivation are critical to the success of students when learning to read and when accessing complex text;
- Research by students provides the opportunity to learn more about a subject, but equally as important, provides students the opportunity to look beyond their research to questions left unanswered (new avenues for student research);
- Using evidence remains a critical skill, interspersed throughout the standards, allowing students to ground their thinking in the work of authors and experts in literature and in the content areas;
- Literacy must be recognized and guided in content areas so that students recognize the academic vocabulary, media representations, and power of language inherent in the work of scholars and experts, and
- The importance of foundational skills in the early grades, as students learn to read, cannot be overstated and calls for targeted, sustained intervention at any point of struggle for a student.
The NJDOE recommends 90-minutes of uninterrupted literacy instruction for all students in grades K-5, and 80 minutes for grades 6 through 8.