Examining National Priorities
When calls for educational reform arise, national conversations usually turn to curriculum as the area most in need of improvement. Curriculum
encompasses what students are to know and be able to do after a course of study. Generally, the way in which schools, teachers, policymakers, and
others approach curriculum is through their philosophy of education.
Usually, reforms start with a national priority and then trickle down to classrooms. For example, the Common Core State Standards have as their goal
preparing all of America’s diverse student populations for college and career-readiness. Because these national standards are different than what most
states have implemented, school districts, schools, and teachers are examining their curricula to determine if they have what they need to successfully
implement the Common Core. Should they buy new materials and resources and start over? Should they repurpose what they have? Should they do a
In this assignment, you will examine one of two national priorities and their impact on student achievement at the classroom level. You may choose
either the Common Core State Standards Initiative or the Race to the Top Program.
1. Save and print the Module 4 Application PDF.
2. For your assignment submission, create a Word or text document. You will submit two parts in one document. Use 12-point Arial or Times New Roman
3. Use APA (6th edition) format for the title page, references page, and in-text citations.
4. You may choose one of two national priorities – The Common Core State Standards Initiative or the Race to the Top Program.
If you choose the Common Core State Standards Initiative, go to the website at http://www.corestandards.org/ Review the website, and locate standards
for your grade level and content area. If your grade level and content area are not covered by the standards, select a grade level and content area of
interest to you.
If you choose the Race to the Top Program, go to the website at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html. Thoroughly review the
Part 1: From reviewing the website and the information presented, answer these questions:
What can you infer about the current purpose of education in the United States?
From what you have learned in this course, what is motivating this current purpose for education?
What knowledge, skills, and competencies should students in the United States have?
What instructional methods will best prepare students to meet the national priority and have a broader impact?
What curriculum will be in place to ensure students master the national priority?
Describe how a classroom where students meet the national priority will look (and feel).
What is the role of the teacher in this classroom? The student?
How will you measure student growth? Will international benchmarking be useful? If so, how?
What are the advantages and limitations of approaching education through the lens of this national priority?
6. Part 2: Does the national priority align with your personal philosophy of education? What aspects of the national priority support your philosophy
of education? Are there any aspects of the national priority that you find challenging to your philosophy of education?
submit your Word or text document.
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