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Evaluating Board of Education Policy

Posted by Hope Scott on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 Under: curriculum management

Does school district policy contain provisions for curriculum and instruction? Explain.

After many minutes of searching, I accidently found the district policy online.[1]  The policy indicates whether the policy is local or legal.  A perusal of the board policy shows that it addresses:

~ curriculum development - including innovative and magnet programs,

~ curriculum design - including basic instructional programs and special programs,

~ basic instructional material - includes separate sections for required instructions for all grades and secondary, and

~ instructional resources - selection and adoption.


Based on what you have learned about state law and the TEA learning system, is your district’s policy comprehensive enough? Does it make specific requirements about curriculum and instruction, or is it vague and general? Cite specific policy to strengthen your argument.

The district's board policy is comprehensive enough.  As I reflect upon the district's deficiencies according to the AEIS report, I feel that the policy is not the problem.  It addresses everything we have covered thus far. For example, the district's curriculum development policy outlines guidelines for curriculum development and review.  The policy states, "The Board deems it essential that the school system continually develop and modify its curriculum to provide a common direction of action for all instruction and programmatic efforts in the District and to meet changing needs."[2]  This section also includes guidelines for The Planned and Written Curriculum, The Taught Curriculum, and The Tested Curriculum Evaluation.  The policy is not vague about expectations.  The Taught Curriculum section of Curriculum Development includes the following quote: "Curriculum and instruction guides shall serve as the framework from which a teacher will develop units of study, individual lesson plans, and approaches to instruction that will serve the student’s particular needs at a particular time. The guides shall be used to

map a logical sequence of instruction."[3]


Refer back to your suggested improvements for local provisions in the TEA learning system from your Analysis Assignment. Did any of your suggestions relate to board policy? Review the Week 1 article, “Develop Statewide Curriculum Guides and Increase Local Accountability of Curriculum Management.”

My recommendations did not relate to board policy.  I reviewed the Campus Improvement Plan and the campus' AEIS report.  My recommendations could probably be addressed in the curriculum guide.  The guide is designed to map a logical sequence of instruction.  Maybe the written curriculum guides for math and science need to be reworked to help students retain what is taught and tested.


If given the opportunity, how would you change board policy to strengthen curriculum and instruction in your school district?

The area that shows the most weakness is assessment or tested curriculum in math and science.  According to the policy, "A District staff shall design and use a variety of assessment approaches in determining the effectiveness of the planned and written curriculum, the taught curriculum, and instructional programs.  Periodic reports shall be made to the Board concerning these assessments."[4]  I do not know if the Board actually receives reports regarding assessment prior to the TAKS tests.  The Board needs to make sure that all teachers have access to tools needed for students to be successful.  I would suggest that as the Board looks at mock test data, that they find ways to for students to have many opportunities to practice to prepare for the TAKS test.  I have heard math teachers complain that the mock tests do not cover what they have taught and is really given too late to help remediate the students needing the most help. 

[1] Port Arthur Board Policy Manual. (n.d.) Retrieved February 1, 2011 from http://www.tasb.org/policy/pol/private/123907/

[2] Port Arthur Board Policy Manual. Curriculum Development. (n.d.) Retrieved February 1, 2011 from http://www.tasb.org/policy/pol/private/123907/pol.cfm?DisplayPage=EG(LOCAL).pdf&QueryText=CURRICULUM

[3] same as above.

[4] same as above.

In : curriculum management 

Tags: aeis  "board of education policy" 

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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