Regular evaluation of the total curriculum is necessary to ensure that the written and delivered curriculum is having the desired effect for students.

Curriculum evaluation refers to an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting information to aid in understanding what students know and can do. It refers to the full range of information gathered in the school district to evaluate (make judgments about) student learning and program effectiveness in each content area.

Curriculum evaluation must be based on information gathered from a comprehensive assessment system that is designed for accountability and committed to the concept that all students will achieve at high levels, is standards-based, and informs decisions which impact significant and sustainable improvements in teaching and student learning.

The superintendent is responsible for curriculum evaluation and for determining the most effective way of ensuring that assessment activities are integrated into instructional practices as part of school improvement with a particular focus on improving teaching and learning. A curriculum framework will describe the procedures that will be followed to establish an evaluation process that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the total curriculum. This framework will, at a minimum, describe the procedures for the following curriculum evaluation activities:

  • Identify specific purposes for assessing student learning;
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment plan;
  • Select/develop assessment tools and scoring procedures that are valid and reliable;
  • Identify procedures for collecting assessment data;
  • Identify procedures for analyzing and interpreting information and drawing conclusions based on the data (including analysis of the performance of various sub-groups of students);
  • Identify procedures for establishing at least three levels of performance (specific to the content standard and the assessment tool when appropriate) to assist in determining whether students have achieved at a satisfactory level (at least two levels describe performance that is proficient or advanced and at least one level describes students who are not yet performing at the proficient level);
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information to determine long-range and annual improvement goals;
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions;
  • Define procedures for regular and clear communication about assessment results to the various internal and external publics (mandatory for communication about students receiving special education services);
  • Define data reporting procedures;
  • Verify that assessment tools are fair for all students and are consistent with all state and federal mandates;
  • Verify that assessment tools measure the curriculum that is written and delivered;
  • Identify procedures for deciding when multiple assessment measures are necessary for making good decisions and drawing appropriate conclusions about student learning;
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of key groups;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum evaluation;
  • Ensure participation of eligible students receiving special education services in district-wide assessments.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum evaluation activities, the progress of each content area related to curriculum evaluation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum evaluation including recommendations to the board.


Note: This is a mandatory policy but the content is discretionary to the extent somewhere in board policy the board describes its process for establishing content standards, benchmarks, performance levels, and annual improvement goals aligned with needs assessment information. The bulleted items are suggestions for content of this policy. The italicized items are not mandatory functions but are implied from the mandates. Boards, in conjunction with their administrators, should review their curriculum evaluation process and incorporate it into this policy - striking what doesn't apply and adding what does. For more detailed discussion of this issue, see IASB's Policy Primer, Vol. 13 #1- May 15, 2000.


Legal Reference:

20 U.S.C. § 1232h.

34 C.F.R. pt. 98.

Iowa Code §§ 216.9256.7279.8280.3.

281 I.A.C. 12.8.

Cross Reference:

101 Educational Philosophy of the School District

103 Long-Range Needs Assessment

505 Student Scholastic Achievement

602 Curriculum Development

603 Instructional Curriculum


Approved     9/18/97           Reviewed    1/19/22           Revised