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Subcommittees for the Subject Area Committees

When subject area committees (SACs) convene to write curriculum, they quickly recognize there are many responsibilities involved with this phase of the process. In an effort to organize and manage the multiple tasks involved, a SAC may decide to make use of subcommittees. Ideally, a SAC has a teacher representative for each grade level/course of the target subject; however, a subcommittee can function well as long as there is a …Read More

Traditional Math Courses vs Integrated Math Courses: How to Decide?

The Common Core State Standards for Math (CCSS) are arranged by specific grade levels in kindergarten through eighth grade. Although the standards are divided into specific strands at the high school level (geometry, algebra, etc.), they are listed as appropriate for ninth through twelfth grade students without designation as to which standards are to be included for each grade. This structure allows school districts to make individual decisions about how …Read More

Questions that Arise When Aligning with the Common Core State Standards

Districts across the nation are in the process of incorporating the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their local curriculums. Unlike past sets of “grade-banded” state standards that required districts to decide the grade level where a skill will be taught within a given group of grades (i.e. K-2, 3-5, 6-8), the CCSS identifies a specific grade for placement of each skill. However, even though the question of where the …Read More

School Accountability Through Dialogue PART 2: Strategies for Expanding the Interaction

In Part 1 of School Accountability Through Dialogue, background definitions of accountability were presented in the context of the growing standards movement and the influence of the No Child Left Behind version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. As a result of those movements and initiatives, school improvement was narrowed to a process based on standards, a concentration on basic skills, the use of high stakes tests …Read More

School Accountability Through Dialogue Part One: Background and Need

School accountability expectations are increasingly being developed and implemented by governmental decision-makers who serve in legislatures, on state boards of education, or in governors’ offices. The focus of those expectations is typically on how well students perform on criterion-referenced tests linked to a specific set of standards. This condition is a variation from what occurred between 2001 and 2009, during the administration of George W. Bush. Although the standards movement …Read More

Identify Transitional Curriculum When Aligning to the Common Core

Traditionally, school districts using the Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) Model for curriculum development begin the process by collecting information about the current (existing) curriculum. In a survey type of questionnaire, teachers are asked to identify skills and concepts they currently teach. Subject Area Committee (SAC) members then display and analyze the information to identify key concepts and skills that are either missing or taught redundantly. However, now that the Common …Read More

Change Agents: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What is a Change Agent? Basically a change agent is someone who endeavors to cause at least some parts of an organization to operate in a new or different way. Some of the key roles of a change agent include: communicator, facilitator, go-between, organizer, cheerleader, motivator, researcher, or idea generator. Leading change in a school district is not an easy task. A change agent should expect some degree of open …Read More

Common Core Standards for Mathematics Step-by-Step Transitioning

In the E-Hint, Transition to the Common Core Curriculum in Mathematics, we talked about decisions that need to be made by the Curriculum Coordinating Council regarding district priorities in transitioning from the existing curriculum to alignment with the new Math Common Core Standards.   When ready to begin, the actual transition process looms as an almost insurmountable task.  As with all huge tasks, this one is easier to accomplish if you …Read More

Transition to the Common Core Curriculum in Mathematics

Most states, with slight degrees of variance, have adopted the new Common Core Standards in Language Arts and Mathematics as their state standards. Schools across the nation now face the challenge of transitioning from their past state standards to the new ones. There is a degree of change in concepts and skills in both documents, but the greatest difference exists in math. There is no question that the Common Core …Read More

A Rigorous Curriculum Part II: Effective Written and Oral Communication

Part One of this E-Hint, A Rigorous Curriculum , offered the idea that post-NCLB changes will be more challenging in that they most likely will focus on Common Core Standards, a greater use of national tests, more emphasis on a school’s total curriculum (not just math, reading and science) and assessment techniques that are much more sophisticated than the current AYP system.  Academic rigor will be redefined in the context …Read More