Schools today face conflicting challenges:
- Meet the proficiency requirements of state academic standards and tests under No Child Left Behind
- Prepare students more effectively for the world in which they will live and work
- their own vision of a complete education doesn't get lost in the rush to teach to the test?
- their students receive a rigorous and relevant education
There is no simple solution. But districts can begin with a shared vision of a quality education: focusing instruction on state standards, state tests, and the essential skills that students need to be successful.
The Curriculum Matrix assigns a priority rating to each state standard in English, math, and science based on the emphasis given to that standard on state tests. Standards are also crosswalked to the Essential Skills study, which ranks the importance of curriculum content in the subjects relative to what graduates need for success in adult life. The International Center uses education experts in each state to assist in creating the Curriculum Matrix.
From this data, teachers can readily find the standards/ benchmarks for the grade and subject they are teaching. They can then determine if a standard/benchmark is likely to be assessed on the state test and the relative weight given to it. They can also discover its importance in terms of what students need to know and be able to do after high school graduation.
NEW! - The Social Studies Curriculum Matrix aligns your state assessments in social studies to your standards/expectations and assigns a priority rating based on whether or not they are tested. The Social Studies Curriculum Matrix also crosswalks your state social studies standards/expectations to the National Essential Skills Study (NESS). Ratings have been assigned to the essential skills based on how high they were ranked in the 2007 survey. This information helps social studies departments and teachers decide what is most important to teach students.