Shelby County Chooses PCG Education’s Paths to College and Career (EngageNY) to Provide ELA Curriculum
To support educators as they work to build the skills and understandings of high school students striving to meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Shelby County Schools has embarked on an innovative trial to bring the EngageNY English Language Arts Curriculum to students in grades 9–12.
The district is implementing PCG and Wiley’s Paths to College and Career 9-12 English Language Arts Curriculum (EngageNY) in order to change teacher practice and improve student achievement. The first goal of the trial is that, by the end of the 2016–2017 school year, students in the 80 classrooms where Paths to College and Career is implemented will report higher scores in Tennessee’s statewide ELA assessment than students in comparison classrooms.
The second goal of the trial is that, by the end of this school year, at least 80% of collected assignments in the classrooms where the Paths curriculum is implemented will demonstrate strong or excellent alignment to the CCR standards. In an analysis of previous years’ collected assignments, only 20% were aligned to the CCR standards.
Professional development for teachers and coaches is a critical component of this project. In a Paths Summer Institute conducted by PCG, teachers were introduced to the instructional shifts that underpin the curriculum and given the opportunity to dig into the initial modules under the guidance of PCG’s curriculum experts. To embed ongoing professional development in the classroom, PCG will work with coaches and district leaders to conduct classroom walkthroughs and professional development workshops that will cement and expand teachers’ instructional practices.
As Shelby County Schools’ Teacher and Leader Development Manager, Monica Jordan, explained to teachers involved in the program, “We are thrilled that your school is participating because Paths was designed specifically for districts like ours. This curriculum will help our students improve their reading, writing, and thinking skills.”
PCG’s Senior Associate Dr. Katanna Conley agreed, commenting. “The curriculum gives all students, including those who had previously been excluded from challenging learning experiences, the opportunity for rigorous thinking with grade-level texts.”
Paths to College and Career (EngageNY) is a comprehensive English Language Arts/Literacy curriculum for grades 6–12 that meets the demands and instructional shifts of CCSS. Paths provides engaging and challenging learning experiences for students and meaningful support for educators as they encounter new instructional approaches and strategies that build students’ skills and knowledge. Paths provides guidance to teachers for facilitating evidence-based conversations about text, developing students’ academic vocabulary, teaching close reading, implementing accountable independent reading (AIR), and unpacking the standards themselves.