Theme: College and Career Readiness Curriculum & Expectations
Organization Level: System
Critical elements: Expectations for all students to learn are high, clear, and consistent across schools in the district/system. The curriculum is aligned from pre-K to Grade 12 to prepare all students for success after high school (college and career). The instructional program emphasizes effective teaching. Effectiveness is based on students’ demonstration of mastery of rigorous content standards, psychosocial paired appropriately, and self-directed learning.
Practice: Provide clear, specific learning objectives aligned to college and career readiness, along with evidence-based instructional practices, materials, and resources.

Go Back to Previous Page
CriteriaLess Effective PracticesSuccess Factors for Meeting State StandardsSuccess Factors for College and Career Readiness
Source of Standards

State standards are the only content guidance provided to schools.

Essential Standards selected from State Standards provide the foundation on which the district/system builds a written curriculum.

The written curriculum is based on Essential Standards but augmented with specific higher-order thinking coursework, content, and skills.

Vertical Alignment

There are minimal discussions anchoring the curriculum to end results or vertically aligning the curriculum from grade to grade. Academic skills and content do not build steadily from year to year, beginning in the earliest grades.

Curriculum is mapped backward from graduation (exit) requirements to standards and vertically aligned for steady progress toward meeting academic goals.

Curriculum is mapped backward from college and career readiness metrics drawn from numerous sources and is vertically aligned from elementary school through grade 12 to prepare students for success in college and careers. This alignment to postsecondary educational opportunities is a part of ongoing discussions with staff and adapts as skill needs change.

Success for All

Learning objectives and expectations vary by schools, classrooms, and student groups.

Academic expectations are high for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, English language proficiency, special needs, etc.

Focused learning is the expectation for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, English language proficiency, special needs, etc. The district/system facilitates ongoing planning around readiness for college and careers not as an end goal, but as one key step towards life success and earning a living-wage job.

Consistency of Curriculum

Curriculum objectives, materials, and expectations for teachers and students vary from school to school or teacher to teacher.

Curriculum objectives are held in common across schools and classrooms. Skills and content, including performance levels for demonstrating mastery, are based on subject-matter expertise and sound principles of curriculum design.

Skills and content are explicit and consistent across schools and classrooms. Curriculum is guided by subject-matter expertise and sound curriculum design as well as student experiences and interests. Performance levels for mastery are calibrated in terms of readiness for college and career success.

Consistency of Effective Instructional Practices

The district/system provides minimal guidance regarding evidence-based instructional practices. Students classroom experiences vary widely; the lack of coherence and common language impedes professional discussions around teaching and learning.

Evidence-based practices inform classroom instruction throughout the district/system. Although schools and teachers exercise autonomy over classroom activities and approaches, the district/system provides guidelines for effective teaching and lesson design.

The district/system demonstrates high levels of consistency in instructional approach to provide students with common, rigorous learning experiences. Though the district/system empowers schools and teachers to create lesson activities, a coherent arrangement of evidence-based instructional practices informs all lesson design. Students and educators at all levels share a common language around classroom practice.

Collaboration Around College and Career Ready Curriculum

Teachers and school leaders are minimally involved in creating or refining the district/system-wide curriculum.

Teams of pre-K through 12 educators, organized by subject, meet regularly to continually review and refine the district/system-wide curriculum and instructional practices.

Teachers and school leaders collaborate regularly within and across content areas and grade levels to review and refine the curriculum; this includes integrating college and career readiness expectations and metrics at all grade levels.

P: 916-498-8980