In response to the 10/20/2010 post, “Curriculum Myth”, another big brain in the LYS Nation writes: Shouldn’t curriculum, instruction and assessment all be standards-oriented, research-based and data driven? Without standards it would be difficult to know when mastery has occurred. Without research it would be difficult to improve the breadth, scope and sequence of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Without data it would be difficult to assess needs, anticipate solutions and project mastery goals. And so the cycle continues. SC Response I had to go back to the original post (10/20/2010) to review the argument. 1. Curriculum should be standards based (instead of research based). 2. Instruction should be research based (instead of standards based). I would argue that both of you have valid points. It’s the nuance of the argument. I think that the first writer’s point was that most people attack curriculum and instruction decisions from the wrong direction. I agreed with that point and added that in my opinion when the problem is attacked from the wrong direction, it actually justifies inaction. But with the cycle that you describe you make an intuitive leap that escapes numerous of us in the profession (but not the old school LYS’er). 1. We select a standards based curriculum (less common than one would suspect). 2. We implement the curriculum at full speed (rare) with fidelity (more rare). 3. We implement research based instructional practices (rare, and yes, we have the data to back this up). 4. We objectively assess (learning and instruction) in short windows of time (rare in isolation, exceedingly rare in combination). 5. We purposefully make incremental adjustments based on the analysis of both components of data (exceedingly rare). 6. We repeat steps 2 through 5 at increasing speed and intensity (my gut instinct is that this occurs at less than 1% of schools, nationally). Which is why I agree with both of you (which is not unusual). But until the first argument is satisfied, it is hard to make your argument actionable. The question for those of us on the training side is, from an organization and system perspective, is the process critical or can the typical school make the intuitive leap? Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn…

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