Teaching the arts disciplines is essential to developing creativity, synergistic thinking, empathy, expression and the ability to view the world through multiple perspectives. Whether students are learning individual skills or are applying skills to enhance a collaborative ensemble, the arts demand perseverance, diligence, flexible thinking and innovation. The 21st century, conceptual age requires people who are dynamic, multi-disciplined, global thinkers which are the fundamental benefits of a comprehensive arts education.

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Comprehensive health and physical education standards incorporate a wealth of 21st century skills that are critical to making healthy choices for the lifelong success of every student. Teaching comprehensive health and physical education in every Colorado school means that students will have more opportunities to master key life skills that employers are increasingly demanding, such as teamwork, goal setting, appreciating people’s differences, managing stress, and resolving conflicts.

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Teaching Mathematics is essential for all students as they grow to understand their world and become productive citizens. Mathematical models explain, celebrate, and analyze the world around us; from economic models on the stock market to musical models of symphonies, our world is mathematics. All Colorado students must understand mathematics and its relevance in their lives.

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Teaching Personal Financial Literacy is essential to creating fiscally responsible citizens. Our complex interconnected economy requires Colorado students develop financial decision-making skills to ensure a secure future.

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Teaching Literacy is essential to ensuring that all children have the skills to become successful readers, writers, and communicators with the 21st century skills required to be successful as they become postsecondary workforce ready. Developing a student’s ability to read, write, and communicate is critical to their success, and directly impacts their ability to perform successfully across all content areas.

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Teaching science is essential to developing an inquisitive nature about the world around us. Science provides methods and processes for investigating how things work and why things happen. Science education prepares students to be both the inventors and critical consumers of the 21st century.

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Teaching social studies is essential for helping students make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. Powerful social studies education prepares students to identify, understand, and work together as an informed citizenry to solve the challenges facing our communities, states, nations, and world.

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STEM Education provides a venue for the transformation of teaching and learning by integrating content and the skills of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Engaging students in 21st century practices through inquiry, critical thinking and reasoning, collaboration, invention, and information literacy through STEM education directly impacts their ability to succeed by mastering and transferring concepts within STEM disciplines and across all content areas.

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In the 21st century the ability to communicate in more than one language is an essential skill for all Colorado learners. Learning multiple world languages, developing multiple perspectives and understanding other cultures are vital skills needed to both collaborate and compete in our global community. Languages link people locally and internationally. Interactions in languages and cultures introduce learners to new ways of thinking about, questioning, and interpreting the world. Through such interactions, learners acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that equip them for living and working in a world of diverse peoples, languages and cultures.

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On December 10, 2009 the Colorado State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards as the Colorado English Language Proficiency (CELP) standards. English Language Proficiency standards are required by Colorado state and federal law. The CELP standards exceed minimum legal requirements. Overall, the standards center on the English language needed and used by English Language Learners (ELLs) to succeed in school. They guide all educators who teach ELLs and help students’ access grade level academic content while learning English.

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A strong command of academics is vital for being a successful student and ultimately a productive member of the 21st century workforce. Language, math and science skills have always been fundamental for academic and professional success. However, students in the 21st century are now facing more complex challenges in an ever-changing global society. These challenges have created the need for rigorous standards which include content knowledge and application of skills.

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