Integrate International Content into State Standards and Assessments

State Governments Respond to Globalization

See how other states have done it. Image: iStockPhoto.
See how other states have done it. Image: iStockPhoto.

Many states have started to respond to globalization by taking a critical look at statewide curriculum standards and then taking steps to build more global content into them. For example:

  • In Delaware a complete review of state standards including the infusion of international education requirements has been completed. The state is working with district and school education leaders to create a statewide international education curriculum tied to the standards.
  • In 2007, the Idaho State Department of Education added a focus on international education in the state’s K-12 content standards by broadening the standards for geography and history. In addition, a new standard for Global Perspectives integrates a focus on global connections, cultures, or issues in all social studies courses grades K-12.
  • In Indiana, social studies standards have been revised across all grade levels and all high school students must successfully complete World History & Civilizations or Geography & History of the World as part of Indiana’s Core 40 graduation requirements. Indiana requires three to four years of world language study for students to earn the state’s Core 40 with Academic Honors diploma.
  • In Massachusetts, legislation focusing on the importance of international knowledge and skills was passed by the legislature to provide direction and incentives to school districts and educators. A Global Education Advisory Council was formed to advise the State Board of Education on matters relating to the curriculum, instruction, and assessment of global studies in Massachusetts K-12 public schools.
  • The New Jersey Department of Education launched the 2009 Core Curriculum Content Standards Revision Project. Revised standards in the nine content areas will be aligned with the knowledge and skills required for postsecondary education and the workplace and will integrate 21st century knowledge, skills, themes, and global perspectives. The emphasis is on the development of competencies needed in real world situations in an interconnected world. The new standards will be accompanied by materials that support the integration of international/global knowledge and skills and a professional development plan for teachers and school leaders.
  • The New York State Education Department is reviewing its State Learning Standards, beginning with the standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and English as a Second Language (ESL). One of the working principles of the standards review is to “Infuse cultural aspects of literacy throughout all the content areas as appropriate.” Rhode Island recently revised state education standards, integrating international education. Resources for teachers are now being collected to assist in the implementation.
  • In Virginia, social studies standards were reviewed in 2007 and a strand on global issues in the local community was added.
  • The Wisconsin Planning Curriculum in International Education, a curriculum planning guide published by the State Department of Public Instruction, includes examples of how to integrate international content across the curriculum in ways that meet Wisconsin’s standards.
  • West Virginia has developed 21st Century Content Standards and
    Objectives to assure students are prepared with the skills needed for success in the global economy. New assessments are being developed to align to the 21st century content, rigor, and context.