Success at the Core Leadership Module

Success at the Core

is a professional development toolkit for teachers and leadership teams, designed collaboratively by Education Development Center (EDC), which designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide, and Vulcan Productions, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s award-winning film company. Original materials were funded by Vulcan Productions, Inc. and are used with permission.

Leadership Development Module

Aligning Curriculum

What do all schools with high student achievement share? They tightly link standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. And they do this across, as well as within, all grades and subjects. The results are clear and consistent expectations for student learning. In this module, your leadership team will build a shared understanding of curriculum alignment; explore how to assess school curriculum alignment efforts; and create a plan to support curriculum align at the school.

Reflection Questions:
As you prepare to explore this module's resources, consider:
• How does a horizontally and vertically aligned curriculum benefit students?
• What gets in the way of curriculum alignment efforts at our school?
• In what ways can our leadership teams (including schoolwide, content, and grade-level teams) support and advance curriculum alignment?

Video Resources

1. Horizontal and Vertical Curriculum Alignment
Mathematics teachers at Shaw Middle School work across grade levels and within grade levels to determine what will be taught, how it will be taught, and how learning will be assessed. See how Shaw’s teachers also collaborate with sixth and ninth grade teachers to ensure alignment across grade levels.

2. Aligning Curriculum Within and Across Grades
This video shows the English Language Arts department and grade-level teams at Covington Middle School working to vertically and horizontally align their curriculum, using state and district standards. Notice how they use curriculum maps and a Grades 6–8 "ins and outs" framework to document and assess their efforts.

Dig Deeper
  • Module Handouts
    Handouts designed for teams working through the module together. They include reflection sheets, readings, and group exercises.
  • Facilitator Guide
    This guide allows an in-house facilitator to lead a team through the module’s learning experience.