A Change In Curriculum

January 8, 2008
By
The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving teaching and learning throughout the United States. The dedication displayed by NWEA, led to the development of various programs and assessments used throughout the country. However, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment is the most utilized in the state of Missouri. This assessment was created to provide educators with the information needed to improve teaching and learning to determine if students perform at a level appropriate for their grade. Although some students may be reaching their grade level expectations, MAP test scores show that fewer than half of Missouri’s public school students are doing the same, which poses a concern to Missouri School Board members.
The main cause of the low performance on the MAP test in Missouri is the curriculum. The curriculum followed by many Missouri public schools are mild, watered-down, inadequate versions compared to those being followed by other schools. Students cannot be expected to perform well on a nationwide assessment when they are not learning the material that is being assessed. The curriculum followed by many Missouri public schools are also not challenging enough for students and often resort to remedial concepts taught in previous grades. Students are learning the same things over and over, with few new concepts and lessons being introduced. This redundant method of teaching is not enabling students to reach their full potential because they are learning a few lessons at a very slow pace, while still trying to grasp concepts taught at an earlier level of education.
If I were a Missouri School Board member, the MAP test would be no obstacle for the majority of students in Missouri public schools. Schools would be made to follow a demanding and challenging curriculum for students to learn concepts that are appropriate for their grade level. Teachers would be expected to properly prepare students for this assessment by using appropriate objectives and lesson plans. As a board member, I would ensure that the majority of students in all public schools actually learn, progress, and succeed as opposed to being “pushed through the system” out of consideration for their effort. A more challenging curriculum will prove to be beneficial to students and will help improve MAP test scores.
MAP test scores show that fewer than half of Missouri’s public school students perform at a level appropriate for their grade. The main cause of this low performance is the curriculum that many public schools follow. Missouri public school students are not being exposed to enough new concepts and lessons, which causes a lack of preparation when taking tests such as the MAP. With a change in curriculum, however, students will be more prepared and will have more knowledge of the material that is assessed by the MAP test. In order for students to truly succeed, all learned information must be permanently instilled for future use and reference. A weak curriculum does not benefit students and does not allow for an accurate measure of student capabilities. Students must be challenged in order to truly meet grade level expectations.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback