Assessment to make decisions about student learning, curriculum, and

Assessment is a process for obtaining information in
curriculum to make decisions about student learning, curriculum, and programs.  Because of this, educators strongly suggest
that assessment and curriculum be integrated in the continuous cycle of
curriculum, which is planning, operation, implementation, and evaluation.  As educators, we need to be able to answer
these questions about curriculum alignment…

1.  Do we
understand how our curriculum is aligned with the standards?

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2.  Do we have
a good understanding of what our students are expected to know and be able to
do within the content standards?

3.  Do we use
unpacked standards and learning targets to plan lessons and assessments?

Assessment and evaluation are no longer the product
of teaching, they are tools that students and teachers use to support learning.  Assessment should drive our instruction in
the classroom.  When our data reveals
that students are performing below grade level, it is the responsibility of the
teacher to change her instruction to meet the needs of her students.  According to Ervin, students performing below
grade level for a significant amount of time need to be placed in Tier 2
(secondary prevention or strategic intervention).   Students who are identified as being at-risk
of experiencing problems receive supplemental or small-group interventions. An
intervention should include the following: 

1.  What the
intervention will look like (i.e., its steps or procedures)

2.  What
materials and/or resources are needed and whether these are available within
existing resources?

3.  Roles and
responsibilities with respect to intervention implementation (i.e., who will be
responsible for running the intervention, preparing materials, etc.)

4.  The
intervention schedule (i.e., how often, for how long, and at what times in the
day?) and context (i.e., where, and with whom?)

5.  How the
intervention and its outcomes will be monitored (i.e., what measures, by whom,
and on what schedule?) and analyzed (i.e., compared to what criterion?).

Unexpected student
outcomes are usually why curriculum issues are discussed within the school
system.  When our students do not perform
as we think they should, we begin to question our teaching and ask ourselves is
the curriculum to demanding for our students. 
Curriculum directors within the school systems keep searching for a one
size fits all curriculum, but I do not believe there is one curriculum that is
going to meet the needs of all students. 
In my school system, we change reading and math curriculums often.  The latest and greatest curriculum that is
discussed in a conference or meeting becomes our new curriculum.  We are currently using a math curriculum that
no one likes.  It’s confusing to teach,
the pace of the lessons is to slow or to fast (no in between), and the homework
is confusing for students and parents.  So,
the question is:  Why are we using this
curriculum when not one a math teacher in the building thinks it is beneficial
to the students?  Administration needs to
let teachers become familiar with a curriculum and learn to adjust the lessons
to accommodate her students before we decide to change to something
different.  A curriculum needs to be
implemented several years before we can determine if it is beneficial to our
students. If we keep changing curriculums, teachers will not have the
opportunity to master the lessons and become confident in teaching the
material.  Studying and using the
curriculum for an extended period is key to determine if the curriculum
addresses the standards and is helping students achieve mastery of skills
taught. 

 

Bibliography

Ervin, R. (n.d.). Considering Tier 3 Within a
Response-to-Intervention Model. Retrieved from http://www.rtinetwork.org/essential/tieredinstruction