Welcome to Curriculum
“How well a school system works depends, in large part, on how well it aligns curriculum and assessment with standards throughout the district. In practical terms, this means that for students to succeed, they should be taught what they are expected to learn and assessed on what they are taught”
– Rebecca Burns-Curriculum Mapping
The Curriculum and Instruction Department is committed to the development and implementation of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum; a standards-based curriculum utilizing researched-based instructional strategies and to provide equitable academic services for all students. The curriculum is aligned with state content standards, as defined by the grade-level expectations (GLEs), and organized into coherent, time-bound units with sample activities and classroom assessments to guide teaching and learning. A written, aligned curriculum brings academic expectations into sharp focus by describing what instruction will be presented, to whom, when, and how. This alignment with standards can focus classroom activities and ensure a depth of coverage that will help students achieve mastery.
Curriculum alignment is more than establishing a scope and sequence of instruction. Aligning the curriculum is the process of ensuring a good match between the state standards – specifically the GLEs –and the lessons taught in classrooms every day. (Corallo & McDonald, 2002). This process ensures that instructional activities are aligned to standards, that an appropriate amount of time is devoted to the activities, that unnecessary repetitions in the instructional program are removed, that gaps in content are identified, and that classroom assessments are appropriate.
The Comprehensive Curriculum aligns with National and Louisiana standards, benchmarks, and the Grade-Level Expectations. Research indicates that an aligned curriculum can increase student achievement and helps to overcome the usual predictors of socioeconomic status, gender, race, and teacher quality variables (Laboratory Network Program, 1998; Moss-Mitchell, 1998; Wishnick, 1989). A pre-condition of a successful educational program is a clear and agreed understanding that instructional content and classroom assessments should reflect the instructional standards. In a district with a well-aligned curriculum, all students have the opportunity and responsibility to master the instructional content.
Introducing new concepts often means introducing new content, teaching strategies, and administrative techniques. The district has the responsibility to ensure that all faculty and staff participate in appropriate professional development activities that will result in the successful implementation of the written curriculum (National Staff Development Council, 2001).
The Comprehensive Curriculum indicates one way to align instruction with Louisiana standards, benchmarks, and grade-level expectations with the goal of improving student achievement across the state. The curriculum has been developed to assist in building a bridge between classroom activities and state standards, so what happens in the classroom will reflect Lafayette Parish School System’s vision for student learning.
The highest quality curriculum involves a range of resources that are used to determine what is essential and important for all students to know, understand and do at each grade level and in each course. Teachers work together and rely on their experiences with what students need to know to be successful in their courses, on the state’s assessments, and in life. The focus is on making sure students are provided with the knowledge and skills to be successful. This eliminates mystery learning! We owe it to our students to prepare them!