Last week we exhibited at the National Career Pathways Network Conference in Cincinnati Ohio. The booth across from us happened to be the International Center for Leadership in Education. You may be more familiar with this group due to their founder and CEO, Willard Daggett. Mr. Daggett has been a champion for improving rigor, relevance and relationships in our schools. We, of course, share a passion for making classrooms and learning meaningful and relevant to students’ futures. Throughout the course of the conference, we learned about a neat resource offered by this group – the Curriculum Matrix.
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.
In their book, Strategies to Integrate Now! authors Seth Derner and Dr. Jack Elliot discuss the importance of locating, in writing, a clear list of the academic standards/ benchmarks as a first step in making meaningful real-world connections in either a Career and Technical Education or Academic classroom. The Curriculum Matrix does this well! It’s a resource to consider having at the school or district level to guide curriculum and instructional decisions and priorities. This kind of resource is one tool to help ensure that schools and teachers don’t have to lose their vision of a complete education to the practice of “teaching to the test.”
Professional Development Tip for 10.31.08