Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Gary A. Blade


Reform of the public schools is a major issue in Illinois today. Numerous reports claim that public education is mediocre at best. These reports have fostered public concern that has led to a call for school accountability that has caused those involved in education to take a close look at their schools. In this atmosphere of school accountability, a careful and thorough examination of the school curriculum by the local administration can be useful.

Strong instructional leadership from the Superintendent of Schools in a local school district is an important characteristic of an effective school. In the face of state mandated accountability and public concern, the local school superintendent can take the initiative in providing up-to-date information about the school to its constituents. This field experience attempts to make the academic curriculum in the Niantic-Harristown Unit School District #6 accountable to its constituents.

This investigation examines the K-12 academic curriculum and its coordination and articulation. Recommendations are made to improve the K-12 curriculum and to improve its coordination and articulation. Through this study the administrators of the Niantic-Harristown School District have current information concerning the curriculum to be able to respond to the questions of a more knowledgeable public.

Information needed for this investigation was gathered from interviews with each of the reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies teachers in the Niantic-Harristown district. In addition, each of the three principals provided information for this investigation. The interviews were conducted with questions designed for this investigation to help determine the present state of the curriculum. Other district information related to the curriculum was also examined. Other academic curriculum information included achievement test scores, district academic goals, district learner objectives, and district curriculum guides.

The great amount of information gathered from each source through the design of this investigation had to be compared and contrasted with each of the other sources. In analyzing the information, the researcher looked closely at the consistency of the information between each source. A comparison was made from what the principals thought was happening to what the teachers saw happening in the curriculum, to what the test scores said was actually occuring, to what the objectives and guides said should be happening. After the gathered information was analyzed in these ways, recommendations were made to make improvements in the curriculum on a district-wide (K-12) level, by the general grade levels of K-5, 6-8, and 9-12, according to academic subject, and at specific problem points in the curriculum.