A closer look at the written taught and tested curriculum
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A Closer Look at the Written, Taught, and Tested Curriculum. Closing the Achievement Gap in Social Studies Austin ISD Secondary New Teacher Academy August 13, 2008. Closing the Achievement Gap. How do we do this? Benchmark testing, Six/Nine Weeks testing, TAKS data analysis

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A Closer Look at the Written, Taught, and Tested Curriculum

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A Closer Look at the Written, Taught, and Tested Curriculum

Closing the Achievement Gap in Social Studies

Austin ISD

Secondary New Teacher Academy

August 13, 2008

Closing the Achievement Gap

How do we do this?

  • Benchmark testing, Six/Nine Weeks testing, TAKS data analysis

  • Differentiation

  • IPGs and Conceptual Overviews

  • Support Staff and Materials

  • Teacher-led problem solving through Professional Learning Communities

Benchmark Testing

  • Social Studies Benchmark Windows:

    • November 17 – November 21, 2008

      Middle of the Year [MOY] for Grades 4 and 5 and 6th grade at elementary campuses

    • January 12 – February 6, 2009

      Middle of the Year Grades 6-11

    • April 27 – May 22, 2009

      End of Year [EOY] for Grades, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 9 (World Geography)

      Why?To use data to determine areas of intervention and support for students.

TAKS Objectives

  • Objective 1:The student will demonstrate an understanding of issues and events in United States history.

  • Objective 2:The student will demonstrate an understanding of geographical influences on historical issues and events.

  • Objective 3:The student will demonstrate an understanding of economic and social influences on historical issues and events.

  • Objective 4:The student will demonstrate an understanding of political influences on historical issues and events.

  • Objective 5:The student will use critical thinking skills to analyze social studies information.

TAKS Data Analysis

Social Studies TAKS – May 1, 2009

Use of AIMS to analyze data

District Wide Analysis

School Wide Analysis – ongoing throughout the year

Subject and Individual Teacher Analysis

Review of Results: item by item

District Curriculum Specialists assist with analysis

2006 TAKS released tests and 2007 item analysis available at TEA website: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/release/taks/index.html

TAKS 2008 Social Studies Data: Where are the Achievement Gaps?(Data comparisons from 2007-2008)

NewSocial Studies TAKS Accountability

  • TAKS assesses the statewide curriculum that is composed of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS.

  • In 2007 and 2008, 65% of all students and all student groups had to meet the minimum standard on TAKS.


  • Beginning in 2009, 70% OF ALL STUDENTS




  • Special Education Students

    • The Power of Two Training

    • Co-Teaching

    • Inclusion Models

  • Bilingual/ESL

    • Sheltered Instruction Models (S.I.O.P.)

    • Incorporate English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS)

  • Gifted and Talented Training

    • Pre-AP and AP Institutes

  • Economically disadvantaged students

  • Ethnicity

The Curriculum

  • The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the State standards

  • The Austin ISD Matrix organizes the TEKS across grade levels:

    • Cluster Matrices: (PreK – 6, 5-9, 8-12)

    • Grade Level Matrices

  • The State Board of Education will begin refinements to the Social Studies TEKS in 2009-2010

The Curriculum

Strands in the Matrices

  • Eight strands based on the TEKS strands:

    • 100s: History

    • 200s: Geography

    • 300s: Economics

    • 400s: Government

    • 500s: Citizenship

    • 600s: Culture

    • 700s: Science, Technology, & Society

    • 800s: Social Studies Skills

The Curriculum


  • IPGs (Instructional Planning Guides)


    • Pacing

    • Resources

      For example:

      • Discovery Education Streaming Videos:http://www.streaming.discoveryeducation.com/

      • History Alive! Curriculum Activities

    • Ideas for activities and assessment

    • Suggestions for Differentiation

    • IPGs for each content area are found on the Social Studies website:http://austinschools.org/curriculum

The Curriculum

Conceptual Overviews

Provide “The Big Ideas” for the subject matter

Pose questions for the students to consider while studying the unit

Provide a focus for the instruction

Challenge the students to make connections between what they are studying and the real world

Closing the Achievement Gap: Relevance, Rigor, Relationships, and Results

Provide Relevance in the classroom.

Make Relationships and connections between what is being studied and the real world.

Insist on Rigor in order to move the students’ thinking forward.

Achieve greater Resultsin student achievement.

Secondary Social Studies Support Materials and Training

IPGs, and Conceptual Overviews

MPGs (Magnet Planning Guides), and

APGs (Advanced Placement Guides)

Working in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

“History Alive!, “Geography Alive!”, and “Government Alive!” [TCI]

Disciplinary Literacy [DL] Training (Akins, Anderson, Austin, Bowie, Crockett, I.H.S., McCallum) and, in 2008-09, will be piloted at several middle school campuses

First Things First [FTF] (LBJ, Reagan, Travis)

AP and Pre-AP Training

Social Studies Curriculum Website at http://www.austinschools.org/curriculum

Curriculum team can assist with customized campus professional development – Contact Us!

  • Calendar of Social Studies-related Events

  • 2008Presidential Election Resources

  • Lesson Planning Resources

  • IPGs & other District Curriculum materials

  • Differentiation & Other Instructional Strategies

  • Current State & National News in Education

  • Content-specific Current Events New Items

  • Department Chair Information

  • Textbook Publishers Contact Info.

  • Textbook Publishers Web Resources

  • Grade-level Supplementary Curriculum resources

  • Student Contests / Scholarship entry applications

  • Teacher Awards applications

  • Spotlight on Teachers

  • Information regarding local Museums / Field Trips

  • Events News & Contact Info. for Professional Organizations

  • Austin ISD Social Studies Curriculum Staff Contact Info.

Instructional Technology

Dave Sanders, Austin ISD Director of Instructional Technology

[email protected]; 414-6555

Arturo Guajardo, Austin ISD Instructional Technology Facilitator

[email protected]; 414-6555

NTA Social Studies Presenters

High School:

  • Andrea Ramirez, Bowie High School

  • Ian Grayson, International High School (ESL)

  • James Fulbright, Crockett High School (Special Education)

    Middle School:

  • Adam Miller, Covington Middle School

  • Clane Hayward,Burnet Middle School (ESL)

  • Megan Mabry, Dobie Middle School (Special Education)

Austin ISD Social Studies Curriculum Department

Social Studies Curriculum Department

  • Joe Ramirez – Social Studies Supervisor 414-4690

  • Terry Loessin – High School Specialist 414-9638

  • Celeste Smith – High School Specialist 414-1274

  • Janie Maldonado – Middle School Specialist 414-4223

  • Jessica Jolliffe – Middle School Specialist 414-4231

  • Susan Everett – Elementary School Specialist 414-9920

  • Janie McClam – Elementary Specialist 414-4410

  • Lisa Ellis – Secretary 414-4361

  • Arika Ramirez-Cuevas – Secretary 414-4231

Looking forward . . .

  • How does the integration of best teaching practices promote active successful student participation and learner-centered instruction that are key components of the Professional Development and Appraisal System?

  • Tomorrow’s Agenda

  • Let’s complete the evaluation!

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