|Institution:||Northern Illinois University|
|Keywords:||Education; Curriculum development|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10604143|
Achievement data collected within a standards-based education are susceptible to validity concerns, one of which is the alignment of the standards, assessments, and instruction. While educational policies compelled by Standards-Based Reform have begun to address increasing the alignment of standards and assessments, fostering instructional alignment is overlooked. But a Professional Learning Community, which promotes a similar but internally developed standards-based education, encourages practices that foster instructional alignment through collaboration driven by norms. This dissertation used the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum data set in an exploratory quantitative methodology to link the reform efforts with the principal intention to provide educators with accepted alignment practices towards maximizing the validity of the achievement data, examining instructional practices, and ultimately increasing student learning. First, demographic data were reduced to four components that reasonably represented a professional learning community using a reviewer question reduction process and a Principal Components Analysis. Second, the components were incorporated in a fixed-effects regression model to explore the extent to which the components predict instructional alignment based on the years of experience, the grade band, and the survey year. The results varied with the model being statistically significant in all but one group and the regression coefficients and variability explained by the model were both small. However, notable finding included that the variability explained by the model was highest for the less than one year of experience group, components in English were largely positive statistically significant, components in mathematics were infrequently positive statistically significant, and a component composed of professional development questions in mathematics was a negative predictor for experienced teachers and primary teachers. While the finding indicate alignment practices can be predictive of instructional alignment, they also are suggestive that inconsistent implementation of the Professional Learning Community hinders maximizing the use of alignment practices.