School board member evaluating curriculum

Curriculum Evaluation Rubric for School Board Members

Your curriculum director sends you learning materials and asks you to evaluate them. What you say could determine whether students get the best education possible and your district achieves its goals. No pressure, right?

It’s normal to question yourself when looking at curriculum after curriculum to determine which one’s the best. There are many factors to consider – standards alignment, student engagement, budget, district objectives, etc. – but being part of the process allows you to make informed decisions and communicate with the school community.

One easy solution is to use a rubric.

Evaluation rubric

Rubrics are evaluation tools educators use to measure the quality of a performance or project based on specific standards. Using a curriculum review rubric helps you quickly determine whether or not the material will increase student achievement.

(Related Topic: What Makes a Good Social Studies Curriculum)

Educators at Carnegie Mellon University say that rubrics save time by letting you refer to descriptions instead of having to write long comments. It also ensures that you and your fellow district leaders measure curriculum by the same standards.

Multiple sources confirm a good rubric has five characteristics:

    1. Criteria: The rubric lists specific standards so you know exactly what to look for.
    2. Performance Levels: It has 3-5 quality levels, such as Excellent, Good, Fair, and Needs Improvement.
    3. Continuity: The quality difference is the same between each level.
    4. Reliability: Anyone can use the rubric and give a similar score.
    5. Validity: The rubric accurately rates what’s most important.

The combination of criteria and performance levels lets you quickly determine a curriculum’s strengths and weaknesses. You can then present your evaluation to fellow board members, superintendents, and other stakeholders and explain in detail how a curriculum aligns (or doesn’t align) with your district’s goals.

Using a curriculum evaluation rubric discourages complaints because stakeholders can read the criteria for themselves and know your standards for learning materials.

(Related Topic: What Makes a Good Science Curriculum)

You may be wondering, Where do I find a good rubric?

Here’s one our curriculum specialists created specifically to help board members feel confident evaluating any learning materials that come across their desks. It covers everything from standards alignment to technology components and can effectively assess any curriculum for any subject. It also has space to write comments to show vendors, superintendents, etc.

Curriculum Evaluation Rubric from Studies WeeklyDownload this curriculum evaluation rubric and save it to your computer so you have it on hand the next time someone asks you to evaluate learning materials. You’ll soon know whether the curriculum deserves your stamp of approval.


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