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Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.

From Mandate to Achievement

5 Steps to a Curriculum System That Works!

Raise schoolwide performance with a systematic, teacher-driven approach to curriculum development!

Based on a practical five-step model, this guide helps school leaders establish the processes and documents necessary to build a stable, cohesive curriculum system aligned with mandated educational benchmarks. The book provides a curriculum system that facilitates development of instructional priorities and ensures continuous process improvement. Numerous templates and sample documents help demonstrate how to:

  • Collect and analyze data and identify learning gaps
  • Develop curriculum maps that align with standards
  • Pace instruction according to specific objectives
  • Create assessments that predict standardized test performance
  • Conduct yearly improvement reviews

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412963794
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: September 14, 2009

Price: $42.95



"This engaging book will guide your journey through the morass of curriculum alignment, development, and assessment. Our school struggled through missteps in curriculum alignment and implementing common assessments without the benefit of Makas' wisdom and experience. I highly recommend this book for teachers, administrators, and interested parents."
—Robert A. Martin, Leadership Consultant
Oakland Schools, Waterford, MI

Raise schoolwide performance with a systematic, teacher-driven approach to curriculum development!

Purposeful curriculum design is essential to attaining consistent academic improvement. Educators often find, however, that a viable curriculum based on mandated standards can be exceedingly challenging to create, implement, and sustain.

In this book, curriculum consultant Elaine Makas provides a step-by-step guide to establishing the processes and documents necessary to build a stable, cohesive curriculum system that aligns to educational benchmarks. Based on the DAILY model (Data, Alignment, Instructional Pace Guides, Local Common Assessment, and Yearly Review), this system deconstructs the curriculum process into sequential steps that facilitate the development of instructional priorities, reveal students in need of intervention, and help ensure continuous process improvement. With numerous templates, samples, and reflective exercises, this book clearly demonstrates how to:

  • Collect and analyze data, identify expectations, and recognize learning gaps
  • Develop curriculum maps that align with standards and grade-level subject goals
  • Pace instruction throughout the year according to specific objectives
  • Create assessments that predict standardized test performance
  • Conduct yearly improvement reviews and documentation revisions

An essential resource for all schools or districts, whether struggling or successful, From Mandate to Achievement enables K–12 principals, district administrators, curriculum facilitators, and teacher teams to establish a consistent and accurate curriculum process that increases academic achievement and drives continuous school improvement.

Key features

  • Offers a system that:
    • Breaks down curriculum processes into sequential steps that make sense and can be truly used in instruction and not just shelved
    • Gives educators the ability to predict how students will perform on state tests
    • Reveals which students will need interventions and remediation
  • Results in documents that:
    • Enable educators to keep their system of curriculum consistent (year after year and teacher after teacher) and to pass on established curriculum processes to new teachers
    • Are easy to read, understand, use, and communicate to non-educators such as parents and the community
  • Chapters 4-10 provide a step-by-step guide of how to implement the curriculum processes system with an explanation, rationale, process, forms, sample documents, and real life examples of practice
  • Numerous facilitator tips throughout chapters 4-10 provide school leaders with advice for implementing the steps of the curriculum processes system
  • Each chapter ends with a summary of the key concepts and the teacher product for that process, as well as reflective questions for use by study groups and teams


Elaine Makas photo

Elaine Makas

Elaine Makas Howard has 25 years of experience in education. She has served numerous districts in Michigan in curriculum, career development and counseling processes as a regional director of Instructional Services. She is also a systems consultant with Curriculum Connections, a business she co-owns. Ms. Howard has a specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on curriculum. She has a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in school guidance and a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in history. She is certified in central office and secondary administration, counseling, and 7-12 social studies secondary education. Ms. Howard’s work experience includes secondary teacher, community education director, and curriculum consultant. She lives in Cass City, Michigan with three of her four sons.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Author


Part I. Foundations of Purpose and Implementation

1. An Introduction to Teacher-Led Curriculum Processes: The DAILY Curriculum System

2. A Brief Theoretical Foundation: Why Build a Curriculum System Through Teacher-Led Processes?

3. Getting Ready: Planning for the Components of the DAILY Curriculum System

Part II. A Planned Journey of Curriculum Processes

4. Data First: What Is Our Data Telling Us About Our Teaching and Our Students?

5. Curriculum Alignment: Do We Have a Match Between Standards and Instruction?

6. Developing Instructional Goals: Keeping a Bridge Between Curriculum Processes and Instruction

7. Creating Curriculum Maps: The Connection Between Instruction and Standards

8. Instructional Pace Guides: Adding Instructional Depth With Key Concepts and Essential Questions

9. The Final Link: Building Local Common Assessments

Part III. Maintaining Stability and Success

10. Creating Stability: Sustaining, Monitoring, and Adjusting a Curriculum Process System

Conclusion: Reflections on a Curriculum System

Resource A: Further Reading

Resource B: Sample Agendas

Resource C: Blank Forms

Resource D: Sample Curriculum Maps

Resource E: Sample Local K?8 Common Assessment Manual for English Language Arts and Mathematics





For Instructors

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