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Let Processes Work
Using good, repeatable processes is the proven way to achieve consistent quality results. Just ask Malcolm.

Shortcuts in Standards Implementation Short-Change Real Alignment


Taking this shortcut doesn't perform all the process steps. What teacher would allow a student’s research paper to be done this way?

Districts often provide Professional Development (PD) support to help teachers with development of unit and lesson plans aligned to new standards like the Common Core. But there are major issues with this practice.

First, there is never sufficient time allocated to actually perform all the proper process steps.

Second, the PD providers are invariably former teachers – people with a strong interest and expertise in the pedagogy part of the work and much less experience in the necessary process steps. In fact, we've been told more than once that these intermediate steps aren’t even necessary.

The result of these issues is often direct writing of unit and lesson plans from the standards, bypassing all the derivation, analysis and sequencing that would ensure accurate alignment. In the end, unit and lesson plans are completed, classes are taught and student outcomes recorded. All without knowing if the curriculum is truly aligned to the standards. This is clearly not the path to excellence.

Writing lesson plans accurately aligned to standards is a massive task. By accurate alignment we mean every bit of knowledge and skill content intended by the standards at the intended cognitive level is represented in a balanced way. And, no unintended additional content is included to bloat or distract or steal time from the intended learning.

If you have all the content for a course organized in a sequenced outline of units and lessons, the actual lesson plans can be developed during the course in a just-in-time fashion. This is a real incentive for time strapped teachers to prepare the course outline we call a Course Guideline.

Using A·B·D, teachers can efficiently develop their unit and lesson plans and save those intermediate work products for making the next time through easier and possibly helping fellow teachers. There is complete empowerment in knowing exactly what needs to be taught and learned. It’s the key to higher student achievement.