Curriculum Provides An Emerging Leader Education Essay

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In this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills of an instructional leader who also effectively manages curriculum and instruction. The course assignments will guide you as you increase your leadership abilities in the areas of curriculum management, application of state law and local policy as they relate to curriculum and instruction, and campus improvement planning.

In this week's assignment, you will summarize required curriculum components and high school graduation requirements, describe the components of the TEA learning system

and make suggestions for improvement, and collect data to begin decision-making on a

learner-centered staff development session. This week, you should:

identify and summarize the components of a state-required curriculum.

analyze the components of the TEA learning system and make suggestions for improvements.

analyze state-generated data and a Campus Improvement Plan for the purpose

of decision-making.

Rubric

Use the following rubric to guide your work.

Accomplished

Proficient

Unacceptable

Part 1: Summary of Curriculum Requirements

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Clearly summarizes the requirements of the Texas-mandated curriculum with seven paragraphs - one for each component.

(3 points)

Summarizes the requirements of the Texas-mandated curriculum. Not all seven components addressed.

(2 points)

Does not summarize the requirements of the Texas-mandated curriculum.

(0 points)

Part 2: TEA Learning System Components

Effectively summarizes the state and local provisions of the TEA learning system.

(3 points)

Summarizes the state and local provisions of the TEA learning system.

(2 points)

Does not summarize the state and local provisions of the TEA learning system.

(0 points)

Part 3: Gathering Data for Decision Making

Makes an in-depth analysis of AEIS data and a CIP to select a content area and objective for a learner-centered staff development session.

(3 points)

Analyzes AEIS data and a CIP to select a content area/ objective for a learner-centered staff development.

(2 points)

Does not analyze AEIS data and a CIP to select a learner-centered staff development topic.

(0 points)

Mechanics

Few to no errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation.

(1 point)

Responses lack clarity and depth and/or multiple errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation.

(0 points)

Week 1 Assignment: Curriculum and the TEA Learning System

Part 1: Summary of Curriculum Requirements

Knowledge of the state's required curriculum provides an emerging leader with a foundation for decision making. In this part of the assignment, you will examine what Texas law says about curriculum.

Directions:

From your Web address box, access the TEA Web site

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/index.html.

Read and study the following sections of the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II:

74.1 Essential Knowledge and Skills

74.2 Description of a Required Elementary Curriculum

74.3 Description of a Required Secondary Curriculum

74.4 English Language Proficiency Standards

74.62 Minimum High School Program

74.63 Recommended High School Program

74.64 Distinguished Achievement High School Program-Advanced High School Program

(Note: Requirements changed as of the 2007-2008 school year, and §74.63 and §74.64 reflect the new 4 x 4 requirements.)

Compose a two-page summary of the seven components. Include at least one paragraph on each section. Type your paper in the expandable box below.

Summary of Curriculum Requirements

Students are required to receive the basic or essential knowledge and skills curriculum which consist mainly of the core curriculum. The majority of the core curriculum consists of the basics in English, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students are also entitled to an enrichment curriculum that consists of health and physical education, foreign languages, fine arts and classes of that nature.

Elementary curriculum consists of taking the same core classes as mentioned before in the previous paragraph. The timeframe for this goes from kindergarten to the 5th grade.

Secondary curriculum consists of a much wider scope of classes beginning with grade 6 and concluding with the students's graduation at the conclusion of their 12th grade year. Starting their 9th grade year, students must be given the opportunity to take four years English, four years of math and science as well as World Geography, World History and US History. Government and Economics must be offered as well. Along with these core classes, students must be given the opportunity to earn credit in classes ranging from health and technology to any given foreign language class.

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English Language Proficiency Standards require ESL students to be mainstreamed into classes to provide them with the least restrictive learning environment. The curriculum is mainly concerned with providing students with the social awareness as well as the academic awareness to be successful as an ESL student. The goal is to provide enough academic support to enable students to be successful not only in an academic environment but also in social settings as well.

Under the Minimum High School requirements, students must pass four years of English with one of the four years being a Research based English class. You must have two years of science and 2 and a half credits of Social Studies. A student must have 5 and a half credits of electives along with 3 credits in Math. The rest of a student's credits are mainly made up of half credits in technology, health and economics classes that must total 22 credits in order to graduate.

In the Recommended Plan, students are required to earn 24 credits in order to graduate. The core courses consist of 4 English credits as well as 3 credits in Science and Math. The biggest difference between this plan and the minimum plan is the fact that in the recommended plan, students are only required to obtain 3 and a half credits in elective courses.

A high school student must also obtain 24 credits in order to graduate with the Distinguished Plan. The requirements are very similar to the previous requirement plans mentioned previously in this passage. Three Math and Science credits, four English credits, three and a half Social Studies credits and 3 Foreign Language credits make up the majority of the core requirements. As with the Recommended Plan, the required number of elective credits goes down to 2 and a half instead of than 3 and a half.

Part 2: TEA Learning System Components

In this section of the assignment, you will describe the minimum state provisions of the six components of the TEA learning system, desirable local provisions for each component, and your preliminary ideas for improvement.

Directions:

Review the components of the TEA learning system in the Week 1 lecture and the information you gathered in Part 1 of the assignment. As you review, think about desirable local provisions for each component. Consider strengths and weaknesses in local provisions.

Access the Texas Education Code at http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/ed.toc.htm and/or the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, (TAC): Part II Texas Education Agency at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/index.html. Peruse these sites for more information about the TEA learning system components.

Collaborate online with two colleagues to complete the table on the TEA learning system by describing the minimum state provisions, desirable local provisions for each of the six components, and your preliminary suggestions for improvement. Your suggestions may change after completing the course.

TEA Learning System Components

Collaborator #1:

Collaborator #2:

Component

Minimum State Provision

Desirable Local Provision

Preliminary Suggestion for Improvement

Learning Goals

Students need to be able to read, write, problem solve, and use high order thinking skills in all required subjects

The educators within a district have a hand in determining what will be taught if they are chosen to be on the state panel.

Current educators should have more of a choice in determing what should be taught. There is feeling that the people who make a majority of the decisions are disconnected from the classroom. The major suggestion for improvement is to let teachers and administrators at the local level have more input in the learner goals.

Curriculum Documents

The school district is responsible for educating all of the students through the alignment of curriculum. The curriculum must comprise of the (4) core subjects and enrichment curriculum. The state of Texas has a system in place where each district can adopt its instrucrional materials.

Each school district will have the flexibility to determine the process for selecting new instructional materials. The materials that are chosen have to be approved by the state with the exception of the enrichment subjects. The cost will be shared by the state and the district

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Some of the enrichment courses should be added to the foundation courses. In effort to be a leader in the global economy, the students in America need to be well rounded; some of the enrichment courses can provide that if they are made mandatory.

Instructional Program

The material that is taught must be part of the required curriculum. The students will be presented the material in a variety of different settings. The state will allow the teacher to teach the materials in a method that is suitable. The state can set standards when dealing with lab time.

The district will make sure what is being taught is aligned with the state required curriculum. The materials adopted by the district will meet curriculum requirements. Teachers will follow scope and sequence to make sure the objectives are covered for each TEK. Teachers that teach a class that requires lab usage will design lessons that allow for time to complete assignments.

The state should design a system that allows for teachers to teach subject matter and not focus on state mandated test.

Staff Development Program

Staff Development should apply the learner centered principle. This system relates to learners and the learning process. The factors within the system are cognitive, metacognitive, motivational and affective, and developmental/social/ individual differences. This will apply to everyone who is invested in the educational community.

Districts will conduct staff development seminars that are relevant to the needs of the district. The district can seek the services of regional support staff or educators within the district to conduct the seminars.

When staff development is conducted, develop a system where more than one seminar is conducted at the same venue. Each seminar is scheduled during time slots which will allow educators to attend more than one seminar during the day. The educator can also choose which seminar they want to attend. This will maintain high interest level and compliance by educators in each seminar.

Measurement System

The measurement tool is called the Academic Excellence Indicator System. This system uses the results from the TAKS test, other state mandated test, the progress of ELL, dropout rate, completion rate and college readiness. This report is available in the fall of each year. The report is divided into different categories to provide indepth information on the school staff, finances, programs and students. This report focuses on accountability.

The district can use the AEIS systems as a measurement tool to determine how the district is performing. The district can use the data to see which sub groups need to be targeted for improvement. The district can also use it as a rewarding system for teachers who made drastic improvements with their students.

The system needs to be adaptable to the districts. Some districts may not have the available resources to prepare students for the 21st century. The system needs to have a scale that accounts for the deficiencies, at the same time holding teacher accountable for their students learning.

Administrative Procedures

The main focus of this strand is the Campus Improvement Plan, which is revised yearly. The goal of this plan is student improvement for all subgroups. The plan needs to be aligned with the district and state guidelines. The principal must also be involved by making sure the right courses are being offered.

Each school in a district will have a Campus Improvement Plan that addresses the needs of their school. The principal will work with the site based committee to discuss ideas to improve the school.

More education for students and staff on the new requirement for high school graduation. Students need to be aware of the credit requirements under the Recommended and Distinguished Achievement Programs.

How can understanding the components of the TEA learning system assist you in your work as an instructional leader?

By understanding the components of the TEA learning system an instructional leader will have the ability to relay the learner goals to any person who has an investment in the educational system. An instructional leader will be able to assist in making sure that the campus, district, and state goals are aligned. As an instructional leader I can assist in the adoption of school instructional materials. I can make sure that the materials that are chosen are supported by the teachers and the materials will best serve the students. I can assist personnel at the district level to make sure the curriculum meets state guidelines. I can serve as a liason between teachers and administration to choose relevant staff development opportunities. I can educate other teacher on the AEIS system and how the information aids the campus in determining what resources will best serve our students.

Why is important that an instructional leader improve the components of the TEA learning system?

It's important that the instructional leader attempts to improve the TEA learning system because the educational landscape is continually changing. With the use of technology in education, the system will need to have a technology component. The components need to reflect the need for developing 21st century learners. Also as an instructional leader, you want to attempt to meet the needs of the students, regardless of academic background.

Part 3: Gathering Data for Decision Making

A critical skill for an instructional leader is the ability to make data-based decisions. You will practice this skill as you begin work on a learner-centered staff development session. You will select a school-ideally one in which you work, review its AEIS data and Campus Improvement Plan (CIP), and select a content area/objective for improvement. You are not required to present the staff development during this course, but you must have a principal approve your agenda and arrange a time with the principal for presentation of the session.

Directions:

Access the 2006-07 AEIS Campus Reports at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2007/campus.srch.html.

Complete the form to select a school and access a campus report.

Review the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) data, answer questions about the data, and identify four content areas that need improvement.

Review the selected school's Campus Improvement Plan (CIP). Answer questions about the data, and locate two objectives for each of the four content areas identified in the AEIS data.

Based on the data, choose one content-area and an objective within that content area as the focus of a learner-centered staff development session.

Data-Based Reflection and Decision Making

Is there anything in the AEIS or CIP data that you do not understand? If so, what would you like clarified?

The one part of the AEIS report that I didn't understand was the "Acct Status" label. Under that segment of the report there was a category labeled "Acct System", "Non-Acct. System", "Mobile", and "Non-Acct Test". I just assumed that Katrina and Rita were hurricane evacuees. I would like to gain more information on that segment of the AEIS report.

I also need clarification on how they calculated the percentage for all test. The numbers didn't match the totals for the campus.

What about the data surprises you? What about the data concerns you?

The numbers that surprises and concerns me are the total percentage for students who met standards. I thought the students would've performed better because of the resources that the school offers. Even though student performance showed a slight increase, it is still (20) percentage points below state average.

How does the information fit with your feelings about how the students at this school are doing?

The data is surprising because of all of the programs and opportunities this school district offers. I thought the students would have performed better. The school has many different resources that students can take advantage of to help with TAKS objectives. The school offers many after school programs, technology related tools, and remedial resources. I think the school has so many good things that the students look to become involved in other activities and forget about the importance of getting help with TAKS objectives.

Does it seem to differ from what you have personally experienced? Did the students do as well as you and the school expected?

The students typically performed well on test that were given at the beginning of the testing schedule. As the days passed, students used more time to take test because they were fatigued and some students decided to rush through the test. Overall the students did do well.

On the basis of the data you examined, in which areas of the curriculum are students performing well?

In the area of 9th Reading, students are performing at the average state level. Tenth grade Social Studies are performing (2) percentage points below state level. Eleventh grade Language arts, students are performing above state level. Eleventh grade Social Studies, students are performing (2) percentage points below state level.

On the basis of the data you examined, in which area(s) of the curriculum are students performing poorly? Why do you think students are performing poorly in those areas?

In the area of 9th Math, students are performing (6) percentage points below state level even though the student performance increase from the previous year. Tenth grade Language Arts, students are performing (6) percentage points below state level. The students also dropped in performance from the previous year. Tenth grade Math and Science showed the largest decrease in performance compared to state levels. The student's percentages were lower than the previous year. Eleventh grade Math, students percentages increased but scores were still over (10) percentage points below state level. Eleventh grade Science showed an increase in performance but students were still below state level.

Complete the following table to clarify content areas and objectives that need improvement.

Campus: Bowie

District: Arlington

Principal: Wilmoth

AEIS-Identified Content Area

Grade:

AEIS Data Evidence

CIP-Identified Objectives

Content Area #1

English/ Language Arts

10th

Dropped 3%

#1 Cultivate a culture to make profound learning through purposeful engagement central.

#2 Evaluate and provide supplemental materials for the instruction of limited English speaking students in all content areas

Content Area #2

Science

10th

Dropped 5%

#1 Instructional staff is provided with on-going staff development and collaborative training in Profound Learning Experiences Design and Problem Based Learning Experiences.

#2 Offer opportunities for remediation in TAKS mastery

Content Area #3

Mathematics

10th

Dropped 1%

#1 Instructional staff is provided with on-going staff development and collaborative training in Profound Learning Experiences Design and Problem Based Learning Experiences.

#2 Evaluate and provide supplemental materials for the instruction of limited English speaking students in all content areas

Content Area #4

Mathematics

11th

14% below state average

#1 Offer opportunities for remediation in TAKS mastery

#2 Evaluate and provide supplemental materials for the instruction of limited English speaking students in all content areas

Select a content area/objective for your learner-centered staff development. To do this, answer the following question:

Based on the data, which content-area should be the principal's highest priority? Explain why you think so.

I think Mathematics should be the subject that deserves the most attention. It seems that as the students advance to the next grade the percentage gap compared to the stae is becoming larger. The 9th grade students showed a 5% negative difference, 10th grade students showed a 19% negative difference, and 11th grade showed a 14% difference

How can a leader use the AEIS to initiate the development of an instructional focus for a campus?

An educational leader can use the AEIS data to target areas that need improvement. By analyzing the data leaders can determine which groups will need special attention. Leaders can conduct staff development and attend workshops to address the deficits. The data can help teachers focus on certain objectives that were misunderstood. The data can also help different subject areas address deficiencies in the material that is taught.