One of the things we encounter frequently during Curriculum Management Audits is the practice of adopting Common Core or state standards (such as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) intact – no local prioritization or refinement of them at all. The problem with this practice is that these standards are often too vague to provide teachers with a clear idea of what mastery of the standard should look like, or the learnings are not spiraled appropriately from grade level to grade level. Gaps and redundant content are common in these standards because it is assumed that districts will undertake the work of refining them to meet local expectations. What we find, however, is that these documents are so large and wide-ranging that districts tend not to do this, either because it is too daunting or because they assume such a large document must already be specific enough for their needs.
On our Free Resources page, we offer a sample analysis that demonstrates the type of work we do for districts during a Curriculum Management Audit. This analysis of a pair of Common Core ELA strands shows both a learning spiral with a logical progression and a spiral containing gaps and overlaps that districts would need to address before incorporating it into their written curriculum.
CMSi offers a unique, multi-module Curriculum Design and Development training to assist districts in taking their state standards and breaking them down into clear, measurable objectives that provide teachers with examples of what the district expects mastery of the standards to look like. Together, these lay the groundwork necessary to coordinate curriculum across grade levels, articulate learnings as they spiral up the grades, and improve achievement for all students. Contact us for more information.