To many school leaders, creating a curriculum system of aligned curriculum, instruction, learning tools, and assessment may sound like an esoteric exercise that has little to do with real school practice. But this task takes on significant meaning when we view it as a way to provide school leadership for streamlining and simplifying the work of teachers, while also ensuring that all students have equal access to a high-quality curriculum. This equal access results from an officially aligned curriculum, available to all students, and from daily, schoolwide incorporation of literacy processes and strategies that will help all students to learn that curriculum.
When all students have this kind of equal access, both achievement and standardized test results will improve. An aligned curriculum system will also result in more efficient and effective daily teaching. It will make it easier for teachers to create meaningful integrated (or “problem-based”) learning by bundling standards. Finally, the enhanced curricular and instructional practices that follow alignment will help more students become joyful, independent readers and writers.