The Evolution of a Policy: A Five-Year Chronology
October, 1982: Constance E. Clayton appointed superintendent. Publishes governance document listing 54 priorities for the district. School staff, asked to respond, name as their highest priority the development of a "unified curriculum.''
August, 1983-November, 1983: Under the direction of Rita C. Altman, the newly appointed associate superintendent for curriculum, district officials develop curricular goals for each subject outlining what students are expected to know at the end of each grade.
November, 1983-May, 1984: Using curricular goals as a guide, officials assemble review teams of 35 teachers, parents, principals, and curriculum specialists, who meet with teachers, principals, and home-and-school representatives from each school. The teams write scope-and-sequence guides for all subjects in all grades, including new guidelines for computer science. Guides also include pacing charts to suggest the content and skills to be taught during a particular time period.
May, 1984: Superintendent Clayton presents the curriculum to teachers at a districtwide "instructional review day,'' and to the city on television.
September, 1984: Curriculum put in place in all 264 schools. New curriculum-based tests implemented in elementary schools.
May, 1985: At another instructional review day, teachers critique the first year of implementation of the curriculum. Recommend changes in sequence, placement of some content items.
September, 1985: Second year of implementation begins. Curriculum-based tests implemented for secondary schools. Grading and promotion guidelines in place.
May, 1986: At the third instructional review day, teachers criticize pacing guidelines.
September, 1986: Pacing guidelines replaced with more flexible "instructional planning guides.''
September, 1987: Article on Gail B. Raznov's dissertation on high-school teachers' responses to the standardized curriculum appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer.