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The Principal as Curriculum Leader

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Matthew DeVilling

on 11 October 2011

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Transcript of The Principal as Curriculum Leader

The Principal as Curriculum Leader 2002 - No Child Left Behind signed in to law
One major effect - principals must be strong curriculum and instructional leaders
Public accountability
Adequate Yearly Progress (student achievement)

rigorous academic content
performance standards
assessments grades 3-8 & once 10-12
what children should know and be able to do
contain coherent & rigorous content
encourage the teaching of advanced skills Part I: Laying the Foundations 1. What it Means to be a Curriculum Leader: 2. The Four Curriculum Levels: State, District, School, Classroom 3. Importance of the Principal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Beyond Part II: Shaping State and District Curricula 4. State Policies and Framewoks 5. District Curicula What it means to be a curriculum leader - NCLB NCLB Requires State Standards Standards must specify: Accountability Systems

Curriculum leadership is essential to school improvement & reform Change from the old PE coach path to leadership: AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) all sub-categories showing minimum of 1% growth each school year public accountability - publicly reported principals must ensure curriculum is covered and is aligned with assessments Quality varies widely; state-to-state, dist.-to-dist.
NCLB standards are vague - emphasize skills not knowledge
many subject areas are not addressed: therefore some content no longer taught, curriculum narrowing
"teaching to the test"

Congress is under pressure to develop standards-policies but still afford authority to the states ineffective in the past
standards dip to minimums, lowering expectations and therefore outcomes
national development draws funds away from states
inhibits local curriculum creativity
doesn't address unfunded mandates - will render standards ineffective Beyond NCLB - some unintended consequences National rigorous standards National Standards - CONS

National Standards - PROS shared knowledge and values (nationwide)
greater efficiency
encourages higher standards for all states
improved quality of schooling
educational equity (nationwide) note: other countries with national standards report improved consistancy and student success Chapter 1 those setting standards are far removed from the classroom - free from accountability
standards are fragmented and contradictory
few state resources to assist districts
96% of polled businesses prefer national standards but states do not want to lose control
states are gradually lowering standardswhen all evidence (and common sense) says to raise them
the National Conference of State Legislatures voted against participating in any form of national standards learners construct meaning from what they experience
therefore, learning should be an active, participatory process where the learner absorbs meaning Some critics argue: Critics cont.: Constructivism

Philosophy: state standards should be viewed as the floor NOT the ceiling - it is the starting point, not the finish line problem focused, open ended enable generative knowledge
(problem solving) learning strategies
(self-teacher) scaffolding and structure cooperative groups demonstrate learning
(authentically) 1. Mastery of Core Subjects: English, languages, arts, math, economics, science, geography, history, government/civics

2. Learning & Innovation Skills: creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration

3. Information, Media, Tech Skills: literacy in information, media communications and technology

4. Life & Career Skills: flexibility, adaptability, initiative, social and cross-cultural skills, productivity, accountability, leadership, responsibility 5. it should focus on mastery of a limited number of essential objectives

6. it should facilitate multi-year sequential study; not stand-alone

7. it should emphasize the academic and the practical

8. it should focus on problem solving Looking forward: basic generic skills are key Generic Skills cont.:

What constitutes a 'Quality' Curriculum?
[class participation - p. 17] 1. it should facilitate the mastery of essential skills & knowledge

2. it should be closely coordinated

3. it should be integrated

4. it should result in deeper, less superficial coverage 'Quality' Curriculum cont.:
[class participation - p. 17] state


develop curriculum frameworks
develop & implement assessment
provide resources
1. broad educational goals that schools are expected to achieve through all programs in all 13 years

2. graduation requirements in terms of credits and competencies

3. general standards for each required subject Four Curriculum Levels At the State Level a basic framework should include: Glatthorn and Jailall recommend

develop the school's vision of a quality curriculum, building on the district's vision

supplement the district's educational goals

develop the school's own program of studies

develop a learning-centered schedule

determine nature and extent of curriculum integration

align the curriculum

monitor and assist in the implementation of the curriculum resist the easy road of simply adopting the district guide

enhance it

unique local needs/priorities School Functions - 1 School Functions - 2 Intentionality

develop and implement curriculum-related policies

develop a vision of quality curriculum

develop educational goals based on state goals

identify a common program of studies, the curriculum requirements, and subject time allocations for each level of schooling

develop documents for the core or mastery curriculum, including scope and sequence charts and curriculum guides

select instructional materials
develop district curriculum-based tests and other performance measures to supplement state tests

provide fiscal and other resources needed at the school level, including technical assistance

evaluate the curriculum District Functions - 1 District Functions - 3

develop yearly planning calendars

develop units of study

enrich the curriculum and remediate learning

evaluate the curriculum

once that door is closed, it is up to the teacher to put into action all the standards and planning that have occured at each level
cooperation between principal and district leaders in order to best maximize resources Classroom Functions - 1 The classroom is
where the rubber meets the road Flexibility

multi-level, shared process

requires an understanding & respect of one anothers responsibilities (one level for another) Chapter 2 school

page 25 state should provide funds and resources to implement quality curricula

especially to meet mandates

Provision of Resources District Functions -2 (the Principal) can drive change

can accelerate & sustain high student achievemant

possesses skills to improve a low performing school

principal no longer a 'manager'

now a curriculum leader

less business oriented
a plethora of professional organizations that influence policy for schools and school leaders

page 35 Principals are Important NCLB Redirection of Role Alphabet Soup

Chapter 3 instruction - how content is taught

curriculum - what is learned

"curriculum is not my job" is a product of state standards

time - is not on your side (guiding and motivating teachers is biggest)

existing principals not receiving much help in understanding their 'new' role (curr. leader)

quality of curriculum has major impact on student achievement

meaningful change takes place (primarily) at the schoool level

principal is vital in determining the overall effectiveness of the school Important Distinction Problems for Principals Rationale

Teachers and Principal Unite administrative support is essential to teacher leadership
collaborative and flexible HEP - Highly Effective Principals ultimate measuring stick is AYP Curriculum leadership is the exercise of those functions that enable schools to ensure quality in what students learn use typical daily functions as opportunities for curriculum enhancement

speak to studnets during lunch duty
Principals need to be proactive
become informed about what the state is doing/planning
understand political and legislative processes
read professionl journals and join professional organizations

cannot be too busy
must advocate for their school
contact legislator with concerns - directly, with own words do they represent the best profesional thinking and research?

do they provide a reasonable measure of state direstion - do districts still have autonomy?

are they easy to use at the local level?

are they compatible and coherent?

what's the evidence it will positively impact student learning? Policies and Frameworks Communicating Views Evaluation of State Framworks

So . . . the better informed a principal is on the state-level concerns, the better s/he can represent and impact his own district and school Chapter 4 also question the frameworks: Chapter 5 must become the business of school principals

if effectively conceptualized and implemented, can significantly affect the daily acts of teaching and learning

Create Curriculum Policies align local curriculum and standards to school's vision
chp 6 District Curricula District Functions: 1

a broad statement of the outcomes the district wants to achieve for all students at all 13 grade levels

principals should have input in developing district's goal statement Superintendent's ultimate responsibility
looks to his principals for ideas and current needs
focus on:
written, taught and tested,
test and book adoptions,
curriculum-related budgeting

District Functions: 2 Develop a Curriculum Vision Develop District's Educational Goals District Functions: 3 it's the collective set of educational experiences offered at a given level of schooling
elementary, middle and high

mastery core minimums, plus a school's offered electives (above and beyond)

chapter 7

Develop Documents for Specific Subjects only after Mastery Curriculum has been developed, should instructional materials be considered
don't buy the texts then create curriculum from them
text books are not the curriculum, they are tools
District Functions: 5

is intended to supplement, not duplicate the state level testing
used to help students get familiar with prolonged testing and conditions
gives an idea of student progress like an interim report

page 59 page 56

leaders need to create a process for developing scope and sequence charts, and curriculum guides for individual subjects

District Functions: 6 Select Instructiuonal Materials to Support Curriculum Develop District Curriculum-Based Assessments District Functions: 7 District Functions: 4 Develop a Common Program of Studies for All Students ensure each school has the resources it needs to implement the curriculum effectively

technology* and
technical assistance

Evaluate the Curriculum District Functions: 9

have a plan
evaluate the following:
each curriculum guide once completed
how does the guide work in practice (a pilot group - representative smaple, or first year results)
new curriculum evaluated after first full year of implementation - teacher feedback and surveys, student achievment
District Functions: 8 Provide Resources Needed by the Schools The Principal as Curriculum Leader:
Units 1 and 2 End
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