Thomas S. Stone Elementary located in Prince George’s County School District, is experiencing the implementation of a new initiative mandated by the state of Maryland called America’s Choice. The goal of America’s Choice new curriculum is crafted to make the teachers and students more accountable in raising student’s test scores in order to make AYP (Annual Yearly Progress). More than half of our students are illiterate and many don’t speak English. This research paper will explore the philosophical and psychological foundations, socioeconomic factors, curriculum design approach, curriculum development approach, aims, goals and objectives of curriculum development, the strategies used for implementation and the evaluation criteria and issues.
The Merriam dictionary defines initiative as: “The power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task.” In addition, initiative can be looked as a leading step and action or change in a school’s curriculum development and implementation. Thomas S. Stone is in the middle of a diverse community and the students are a reflection of that diversity. Our school population consist of 50% Hispanic, 45% African American, 3% Caucasian, and 2% Asian or other. Our school has been a failing school for the past 6 years according to the MSA (Maryland State Assessment) that is directly aligned to the standards of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Act. Two years ago district officials stepped in and replaced the principal and the curriculum framework in efforts to meet the testing requirements outlined by the federal government.
Thomas S. Stone social factors reflect the educational deficit occurring in our nation now. “Excuses and explanations for the achievement gap include family and health conditions, teacher expectations and experience…” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009, pp. 175) Many of our children taught come from impoverished homes and many don’t speak English. Teachers are provided with limited resources to actively attack the widening gap in our nation’s educational system. Low income and minority students are at a disadvantage for more than several reasons. However, our school is actively trying to tackle this issue in multiple ways. We go out into the community, offer after school and weekend help, even offer English classes for the parents who don’t speak the language.
“For the United States as a whole, the disparity in school performance tied to race and class has become a major issue.” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009, pp. 175) We are pushing our children to complete in a global economy that they are not prepared for. Consequently, parents and local businesses have lost hope in the educational system. The numbers are low at our parent teacher nights and children have to be consistently motivated to perform just above the average level. More needs to be done to ensure that children are not just being prepared to take standardized...