Helping Hands? Experts Examine Curricular Alignment at Kentridge High School

Samantha E. Ketover
Jose M. Rios, University of Washington - Tacoma Campus


Education reform is nothing new; however, from the authors' point of view, the tension between assessment and accountability is at an all-time high. Currently, 48 states administer state-mandated tests and 36 states publish annual report cards on school performance. As a nation, Americans are faced with a political and educational situation in which assessment and accountability are colliding. Accountability is a key word in all educational circles and permeates educational debates from the national level down to the individual classroom level. As assessment and accountability in education trickles down from the national to the state level, research that examines this phenomenon continues to grow. One particular high school, Kentridge, experimented with examining assessment and accountability in a different way. Kentridge High School is located within the Kent School District (KSD). In response to current national trends, the KSD has developed its own Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) to further teacher and student pursuit of accountability. Teachers at Kentridge enlist the assistance of experts to determine the strength of alignment among students, outcomes, and assessments. This article presents a study at Kentridge High School where experts examine curricular alignment issues for one biology unit. (Contains 3 tables.)