The North Judson-San Pierre School Board recognized the efforts of math teachers who are stepping outside their comfort zones and embracing curriculum mapping. High school assistant principal Kevin Cox says it allows the standardized tests administered by the state to guide what they teach.
“You’re taking the standards that the state has outlined and specifically mapping what you’re going to cover each of those standards, how you’re going to cover each of those standards, how many different doses of a particular standard you can get in in a year, how many times you can review it. The more difficult a course, the harder it is to cycle. You end up with too much material to cycle,” said Cox.
Math teachers in all three schools are working together on curriculum mapping and were recognized during the “Bluejay Way” segment of the school board meeting.
“The biggest difference between buildings is they might be able to create a map in grade four that they can get through all of the standards in a semester and do them all again the second semester. If you’re doing Algebra I you’re not going to be able to get through it all in a semester and be able to go back and do it a second time,” Cox said.
Curriculum mapping is a fairly new educational approach. Cox says a lot of teachers across the state are resistant to teaching to the test. He says the NJ-SP math teachers deserve a lot of credit for letting their guard down.
“They’re letting the shift happen. It used to be taboo to say you’re going to teach to the test. Now it’s standard procedure that you’re going to teach to the test. Mapping is creating your curriculum to the test, letting the state of Indiana say this is what you’re going to teach. Whether you agree or disagree, that’s what it is. Again it takes some professional team spirit,” Cox said.
The state uses test data as a measure of each school’s performance, and test scores are also a factor in teacher evaluations.