Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Plans Helps Ensure Curriculum Alignment

America stands educationally unique against much of the world in regards to curriculum.  Unlike many countries, the United States does not currently follow a national curriculum.  Each state has standards by which the school systems must adhere; however, the school systems are allowed to develop curriculum specific to the needs of their population.

As many of you know, Carroll ISD is home to a wonderfully talented group of students both academically, as well as, through extracurricular endeavors.   The students consistently score well above national standards on assessments such as Advanced Placement, SAT, ACT, and out-perform other schools in fine arts, athletic events, and scholastic leagues.

Carroll has grown from a small 3A school district to a 5A district within a relatively short period of time.  And although Carroll students have always received a quality education, it became apparent that the district needed a well written, aligned curriculum to ensure that all students were receiving the same cumulative acquisition of skills and knowledge from teacher-to-teacher, grade-to-grade, and school-to-school.

In order to ensure the curriculum met not only state but national standards, the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, all district curriculum coordinators, and school principals, attended the Curriculum Management Improvement Model training in Austin, Texas during the spring of 2009.

As a result of the training, the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, with the assistance of the curriculum coordinators, created a district Curriculum Management Plan to direct the writing and implementation of all curriculum.  The plan can be found at http://www.southlakecarroll.edu/files/TeachingLearning/CPM%20Final%207_28_10.pdf

Based on the Carroll ISD Curriculum Management Plan, the curriculum documents must include the following:

  • clarity and specificity of standards,
  • congruence of the curriculum to the assessment process,
  • delineation of the prerequisite essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes,
  • delineation of the major instructional resources (to include technology), and
  • clear approaches for classroom instruction.

Currently, curriculum coordinators are diligently working with key teacher representatives to create a detailed scope and sequence with the above criteria included, as well as, a year at a glance, and instructional resources available to each teacher through the online program called Eduphoria Forethought.

The curriculum documents will forever be in some form of revision since new educational ideologies, methods, and technologies are formed.  However, significant strides are being made annually to improve and standardize our curriculum to meet the challenges that Carroll students will face in the 21st Century.