CLI is a non-profit organization of curriculum specialists who have developed this model for school district reform and restructure.
-The CLI Model includes curriculum, instruction, and assessment. -Curriculum is aligned K-12 and also with required external standards. It is specific to your group of students, and provides for use of data. -Instructional procedures align directly with the curriculum, and include formative assessments as well as organization of materials, planning, pacing, and best practices for instructional design. -Common assessments are prepared to align with curriculum and instruction (and thus with standards). -A governance structure is organized to assure effective implementation and to address critical issues related to each step of the model.
This part of the CLI Model is different from most curriculum models. Academic governance assures continuity and cohesiveness – it is a means of addressing important issues and assuring continual progress in the district goals.
Board approves an action plan that includes the responsibilities, timelines, and budget considerations. School leaders and educators commit to this model for three to five years to get the process well underway.
Academic program governance requires strong leadership and a priority spot on the district’s agenda. If a curriculum coordinator position does not already exist, it is created. The coordinator serves as the contact person for the CLI consultant assigned to the district. This may be a full or part-time position, depending on district size and circumstance. If it is a teacher with classroom duties, time compensation would be needed for the task of leading the curriculum effort. It is important that this person be given the information necessary and the authority to speak for the district during meetings and with the CLI consultant.
The steering committee is appointed by the superintendent and curriculum coordinator and is representative of all district educators. It is a temporary body of district leaders that has only one function, which is to write curriculum policy.
This is an important step in establishing a SYSTEMS APPROACH that emphasizes attention to detail and can be used to establish and maintain district culture as to how curriculum, instruction, and assessment decisions are made and revised. The policy itself should be revisited each year to assure that we are adhering to policy and to review for necessary revisions as we move through the process.
CCC is selected according to the guidelines of the model and the provisions of the policy document regarding representation. District educators, Board members, community and/or parent members should be included and representative of the district.
The first task for the CCC is to create a comprehensive plan that clarifies duties and timelines for each subject area. The long-range plan is usually outlined in four or five-year cycles. It should include developing curriculum, implementing and validating the curriculums through instructional procedures, selecting resources, and preparing and validating common local assessments. The long range plan should show more than one cycle; it is helpful to show nine or ten years at a time if possible.
Subject Area Committees (SAC) are chosen according to the long range plan. The SAC includes a CCC member and representatives from as many grade levels, courses, and buildings as is reasonable. There may be an occasional need for outside consultants for subject-specific expertise.
Council members first understand the instructional segments that are crucial to implementing a new results-based curriculum, and then make decisions about what will be required of the teachers during implementation and an appropriate timeline for those requirements.
These discussions will take place over time and a mechanism should be in place to involve all educators. Grading changes may be necessary if scrutiny of current grading practices finds that they are not true reflections of student learning. Reporting processes may also change for more accurate provision of information. Decisions should be made over time so that there is ample opportunity for reflection, study, and appropriate intervals to make transitions. The Council guides the district through research, feedback, and recommendations for each building.
Opportunities for differentiated instruction must be provided by teachers in each classroom. The CCC is responsible for creating plans for additional support and enrichment opportunities that are conducted outside the classroom. These opportunities must be outcome-specific to provide support for students to accomplish the district curriculum. This plan often requires new and creative ways of using existing programs and time.
The district’s total K-12 assessment schedule should be evaluated. Assessments should always contribute to student learning and therefore justify the time spent on their administration. The CCC should determine what assessments are currently being used, for what purpose, and what is being done with results. Then decisions can be made about changes that might be warranted, how local assessments fit into the assessment package, and how and when they would be administered. Staff development will probably be necessary to develop the local assessments.
A district mission should be more than a slogan. The CCC assures that the district’s priorities and beliefs are clearly stated and can be supported by all stakeholders. The Mission serves as a road map and guide for the district. The CCC initiates discussion and possible revision of the District Mission Statement in terms of curriculum, instruction and student learning. The mission needs to be revisited each year to assure it is current for its purposes.
A continuing task of the council is to incorporate the mission into the system. This can be accomplished through staff development and inclusion of the mission in deliberations of all decision-making bodies. Using the mission for decision making leads to changes in personal beliefs and professional practice.
Staff development should be based on the needs and timelines of the model rather than “this year’s new thing.” The council must analyze progress and make specific plans for each year. The staff development can be focused on curriculum, instruction, and assessment needs.
Council must monitor progress to be certain that organizational short-circuiting and teacher burnout are avoided. Trying to do too much too soon is a major problem in all organizations. The council must be careful to receive and reflect on feedback and respond appropriately to concerns about pace of work.
Building administrators are more important than ever, because they must understand the processes and work with the day-to-day challenges of accountability. Much of the information from the CCC and the SACs must go through the building level administrators to assure reaching all teachers. The facilitative skills of building administrators are necessary for successful implementation of curriculum through focused instruction and common assessments.
Council reviews and acts on all matters pertaining to externally mandated assessment and accreditation. It organizes actions to assure that required data collection, disaggregation, or other procedures are systematically merged wit the total improvement plan. The Council needs to stay current with pending legislation that might affect curriculum or assessment efforts at the local level. It is important not to be caught unaware and have to react quickly. With constant attention to external requirements, the Council can plan for working any new mandate into the long-range plan already in place.
The Subject Area Committee (SAC) is trained in the model and creates a timeline for accomplishing responsibilities. Training is focused and meetings are action oriented.
The SAC gathers information and makes a preliminary analysis about curriculum that is currently taught. Information about the nature of the current curriculum comes from questionnaires provided by all teachers of the subject. Information is displayed on wall charts for a visual representation of the curriculum and ease of analysis.
The SAC conducts interviews with teachers to clarify information, and then identifies problems in the current curriculum. Information must be logically organized for study to identify gaps, redundancies, appropriateness, and scope. This step is time-consuming and requires that the SAC members use a K-12 (PK-12) perspective.
The SAC examines state standards for key concepts and terminology. The SAC then creates a focus area for each grade level and course and makes decisions. The topics that remain are essential, sequential K-12, and aligned with standards. The decisions are made based on what needs to change at each grade level to create what “should be” in the curriculum.
In the CLI Model, the term design down refers to designing curriculum from the broadest statement (district mission) to the most specific content (components for each unit outcome). The SAC writes a subject mission statement that causes everyone to know why the subject is being taught in this district. The SAC converts course and grade level focus areas into properly written course and grade-level purpose statements.
The SAC converts topics left on the walls into properly written high-achievement unit outcomes. These align with the course and grade-level purposes. Each course should have 5 – 15 outcomes per subject and/or grade-level. The SAC also lists the components, which are the specific skills and concepts necessary to accomplish an outcome. As a general rule, there are 3 – 10 components per outcome.
SAC members check the entire curriculum for clarity, rigor, and errors in conventions.
SAC completes a curriculum document that teachers of the subject will use in their daily instruction. The new curriculum is considered a “draft” until after implementation and validation procedures are completed. Revisions are usually minor but can be substantial, depending on each individual situation.
The draft is approved by the Council and the Board. The Council will have received updates from the SAC throughout the process.
Procedures involved in this plan might include training sessions, developing written feedback forms, possible grade-level and departmental meetings, and effective communication measures. Feedback forms should be designed to provide information about appropriateness, available resources, success indicators, and training needs.
Teachers will choose instructional strategies and respond to student learning needs by creating their own unit lesson plans for each of the outcomes in the new curriculum. More detailed lesson planning creates long-term benefits in terms of student learning. Training is conducted to help teachers evaluate the alignment of their instructional practice to the new curriculum. Lessons from past years will be evaluated for their alignment; some “old lessons” may need adjustment for use in a new application.
The SAC is responsible for making certain the new curriculum can be effectively used by teachers. This involves implementing the validation procedures planned at the end of year one. ALL teachers have the right and responsibility to report problems with the new curriculum, as well as its effectiveness. The validation form has been created in year one and is now used as the means of communicating information about the implementation of the curriculum.
Adjustments to the curriculum are made in accordance with teacher feedback and validation findings. The SAC evaluates the feedback and makes changes that are appropriate. It is good practice for the SAC to communicate their decisions and the rationale to teachers as the year progresses. Publishers and distributors are contacted to send sample resources for preview.
The final document is presented to the Council and to the Board to be approved as a final edition.
Recommendations concerning staff development may surface, depending on individual district circumstances and SAC decisions. The validation process helps focus the need for staff development as it is appropriate to the curriculum. The needs may be different for various segments of the staff, and consultants may be needed for some topics. Staff development may be requested for small groups of teachers or for the entire staff.
After a thorough selection process in which the resources are evaluated in terms of alignment with the curriculum, resources are chosen to support the new curriculum.
The SAC works with grade-level teachers to create common assessments and criteria. Like the curriculum, these assessments must be validated as they are implemented.
The SAC reviews teacher feedback and makes any necessary revisions to assure assessments meet guidelines established by the council, as well as district needs for student learning evaluations and provision of data.
Theories that support practice for the CLI Model are briefly described on the following slides.
Ralph Tyler: Tyler’s principles begin with four very simple
but essential questions
1. What educational purposes should the school seek to
2. What educational experiences can be provided that are
likely to attain these purposes?
3. How can these educational experiences be effectively
4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being
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