Volume 24, No. 1
Curriculum That Counts
State leaders have long viewed the selection of curriculum and materials as local decisions that fall outside the state policy orbit. Yet state learning standards and classroom materials often do not align, creating inequitable opportunities for all students to master state standards. Through a variety of policies, states are increasingly seeking to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum. A handful are requiring or encouraging schools and districts to adopt quality curriculum and gearing professional learning toward using quality materials to improve student achievement. Authors in this issue draw lessons from these varied state strategies and encourage state leaders to apply what they have learned from the successes in improved reading and math curriculum to other critical subject areas.
A network of states move the needle on quality without usurping local control.
State boards can take a lesson from the work of leading states.
Overcoming barriers to faithful implementation requires changing teacher and leader mind-sets.
A common base of content knowledge and coherent, comprehensive, and sequential curricula to deliver it are prerequisites for reading comprehension. Most students are not getting what they need.
As you engage in standards making on your state board, expect no credit, but keep your head down and stay focused on substance.
State boards ought to be reckoning with how to value and support teaching as a profession and an art.
Change management requires authentic, context-informed practices that are more social and emotional than technical in nature.