Theme: College and Career Readiness Curriculum & Expectations
Organization Level: Classroom
Critical elements: Expectations for student learning are high and are made clear. They are faithful to the school’s college and career readiness mission. The curriculum, from pre-K to Grade 12, is aligned to prepare all students for success in college and careers, and grading practices meaningfully reflect student achievement of college- and career-ready skills and content. The instructional program and materials are selected based on evidence of effectiveness. Teachers are active partners with school leaders, other teachers, families, and community members to support academic readiness for college and careers, including cross-curricular skills such as writing and academic discourse.
Practice: Implement evidence-based, engaging instructional practices and effective lesson design to ensure that all students meet rigorous expectations for content knowledge, critical thinking, and self-direction.

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CriteriaLess Effective PracticesSuccess Factors for Meeting State StandardsSuccess Factors for College and Career Readiness
Curriculum Goals and Learning Objectives

Curriculum documents are vague and highly negotiable. Teachers modify the systems curriculum for their own classroom based on tradition, materials at hand, and personal preference, rather than on the objectives required for the next grade.

Teachers have a clear understanding of the standards-based curriculum, especially the learning objectives for their grade and subject; they can also articulate the relationship between their level and the grades that precede and follow.

Teachers have detailed knowledge of current career demands, college and career-ready skills, and their curricular program to be mastered throughout the year. Teachers have clear road maps for student learning for each reporting period, as well as curriculum guides and other materials.

Consistency of Effective Instructional Practices

Classroom materials and activities are largely chosen or developed by individual teachers, with little collaboration, sharing with colleagues, or explicit connection to student mastery of standards.

Classroom materials and activities are selected based on their connection to academic standards. Teachers routinely work in grade/subject level teams or with schools leaders to create a consistent instructional program and to supplement or modify their program to meet stated learning goals and differentiated student needs.

Classroom materials and activities are collaboratively selected by teachers and school leaders based on their effectiveness for mastering college and career ready content and skills with students representing a range of learning needs. Teachers collaborate within departments or grade-levels and share successful instructional practices.

Consistent, Meaningful Grades

Teachers grading district/systems are difficult to interpret because they are not based on agreed-upon standards, assessment targets, or expectations. The meaning of a grade varies considerably across classrooms. Promotion may hinge upon a variety of factors, such as age or effort.

Teachers grading and progress reporting district/systems provide meaningful information regarding students achievement of the objectives for that grade level and subject. Students are not promoted to the next level of study without mastering essential skills and content.

Teachers system for grading and reporting of student progress are consistent, clear, and meaningful to students and families. A students grade accurately reflectsand can be readily interpreted asan indication of the students level of achievement toward mastering the college and career ready curriculum.

College & Career-Ready Skills & Content

Teachers take ownership for teaching their own curriculum to the students currently in their classroom. Although they may share teaching tips or materials with colleagues, collaboration is not an expectation, and supports may feel evaluative. Closed classrooms are the norm.

Teachers share a sense of responsibility for guiding all students toward mastery of the district/systems standards for their grade and subject area. Teachers seek out opportunities to observe one another, share materials and approaches, and refine their practice in response to feedback from colleagues.

Teachers take responsibility for all students progress toward college and career readiness. In addition to subject-area skills and content, teachers work together to teach college and career ready skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, and technology, as well as to support elements of the college knowledge program. Open, transparent classrooms are the norm.

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