The Grand Rapids Public School District recently reviewed its curriculum for alignment with state and national standards. It also reviewed the sequencing of standards in each content area. Its primary goal was to use curriculum reform to raise student achievement.
Under the direction of the Division of Instruction and Instructional Support, the curriculum team worked with area curriculum specialists and teams of teachers and administrators to revise the curriculum in four areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. A gap analysis was conducted to compare these four areas to the KC4, MEAP, and state and national curricula. The curriculum team developed benchmarks, concepts statements, and content, making sure to give attention to the connectivity of successive grades. After the new curriculum was rolled out, several schools were asked to pilot it. Throughout the process, teachers participated in staff development on curriculum analysis and design. Care also was taken to include parent and family communication as an important part of the curriculum-development process.