In the early 2000s, Dataworks founders John Hollingsworth and Silvia Ybarra identified the Curriculum Gap. After processing thousands of test scores from hundreds of schools, they found that students were being taught at a lower level than they were being tested. For example, 5th graders were often taught 3rd or 4th grade standards because they didn’t have certain skills, but this led to consistently low scores on 5th grade tests. The solution they found was to always teach on grade-level and get extra help for low skills.
Today, Dataworks has found that every school is still facing a Curriculum Gap. This one, however, is bigger. It’s the gap between where you are and where you want to be, the gap between current teaching and next level teaching. How do you bridge the gap? We’re not just talking goals here, but real effective implementation of change that makes a difference. Often, this is done in a piecemeal way, trying the latest technology or strategy for a few months or a year.
But we think the first step is to break this big gap into smaller ones and then master each one. We have identified five significant Curriculum Gaps in current education practice with effective solutions for bridging each one.