Project Description:

    Literacy Curriculum Alignment Project (LCAP) began six years ago with the goal of improving language arts instruction and student achievement. After conducting an extensive literature and research review the LCAP process was developed on the foundation that effective schools have the following characteristics:

  • Strong instructional leadership
  • High student and staff expectations
  • School-wide professional development
  • Curriculum articulation and organization
  • Frequent monitoring and assessing of student knowledge

    (Edmonds 1979a, 1979b, 1982; Purkey & Smith’s 1983; Weber, 1971; Brookover& Lezotte, 1979; Halpin & Croft, 1962; Tagiuri & Litwin, 1968; Hoy, Tarter, & Kottkamp, 1991)

Using the above tenets, LCAP established an intensive literacy-based professional development program. The growing pressure from the historic legislation of No Child Left Behind coupled with the adoption of the Ohio Academic Content standards and implementation of achievement, diagnostic and graduation assessments have led districts to request our services across content areas. This has proven that the LCAP process is successful across any content area: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and/or Social Studies.

    Today, LCAP provides system-wide professional development in standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment to low-performing school districts utilizing a unique “assess-plan-teach” cycle. This cycle is supported through research to increase student achievement. (Carr and Harris, 2001; Wiggins and McTighe, 1998; Resnick, 2003; Shepard, 2002) LCAP is a comprehensive, continuous K-12 district-wide professional development program. LCAP currently impacts 21 Ohio school districts which encompass 75 school buildings, 1,400 teachers and over 25,000 students.

    The purpose of LCAP is clear and concise: to assist principals and their staffs to improve instruction and achievement through a backwards building assess-plan-teach cycle aligned to the Academic Content Standards. The following objectives guide the process:

Objectives of LCAP:

  • To assist principals, teachers, and/or leadership teams with identifying essential instructional leadership knowledge, skills and attitudes to improve achievement in their schools.
  • To introduce principals, teachers and/or leadership teams to an array of instructional leadership tools such as backwards building curriculum from standards, curriculum pacing, vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment, assessment system development, gap analysis, and Baldrige tools.
  • To assist principals, teachers, and/or leadership teams in designing a process of assess-plan-teach which includes the design of a short-cycled common assessment system that monitors student progress towards the mastery of the Ohio academic content standards.
  • To assist principals, teachers, and/or leadership teams in utilizing the LCAP online database that includes data analysis tools, instructional resources, intervention strategies and classroom level templates used to collect daily data for value-added statistics.
  • To improve content instruction in all classrooms K-12.
  • To improve student performance in all of the participating schools as measured by the state achievement and proficiency assessments.
  • To assist principals and their staffs to build organizational capacity within the learning community to support their efforts.

    The LCAP process applies a rigorous, systematic process that obtains valid data that are used to impact instruction and help teachers with intervention identification. The LCAP assess-plan-teach cycle begins with developing teacher knowledge of the State Academic Content Standards as well as the State Assessments. Next, the teachers discuss what evidence is needed to determine a student’s proficiency on each Grade Level Indicator. This discussion leads to the development of a pacing chart. The pacing chart is used to pace out the indicators into short-cycled periods (we recommend that this be four nine week instructional periods). Following the development of the pacing chart, the teachers begin to design assessments aligned to the Academic Content Standards/Grade Level Indicators for each of the periods on their pacing charts. This part of the process is quite detailed and involves a lot of discussion, revision and collaboration as the teachers work to develop assessments tied to their pacing charts.

    The assessment of the indicators then serves to drive the instruction for that period, thus initiating the assess-plan-teach cycle. Following the administration of the short-cycled assessment, the teachers are led through a process of data analysis unique to the LCAP process. The teachers learn, through the use of the on-line web-based data system, to analyze individual, classroom, and district performance and how these results relate to needed changes in classroom practice. Throughout the process teachers collaborate and share intervention strategies, successful best practices, and lesson ideas. Using the data, the school/district may choose to revise their curriculum maps. The assess-plan-teach process is cyclical thus continues in a fluid manner, always evolving as teachers become more and more comfortable with their own assessment and data driven instructional decisions.


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