Relevant, Viable and Measured Curriculum (RVM-C)

The 'Relevant, Viable and Measured' Curriculum (RVM-C) is a framework for establishing instructional coherence, within and across grades, that is intentional, rigorous, equitable, and student-centered. As an approach it equips districts and schools with better control over what is taught and how well it is taught, using the metric of successful student learning.

The Relevant Curriculum

The 'relevant' curriculum addresses the arbitrary nature of current instructional practice that has resulted in uneven student performance, particularly in high risk schools. In practice, schools and districts create a curriculum based upon the cross disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the 21st Century that addresses the areas of greatest instructional need. The element of 'relevance' reflects instruction that achieves deeper student understanding in fewer, prioritized areas over instructional 'coverage' of a wide range of content.

The Viable Curriculum

The element of 'viability' addresses the longstanding problem of policy mandates that are not grounded in best practice instruction. It is well documented that Mandated Standards (including the Common Core) include more instructional content than can be taught in the time available (Ainsworth citing Marzano, 2010). These Standards reflect two disciplines: Mathematics and English Language Arts. Standards in other disciplines such as Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, and the Arts will further expand the existing framework. The element of 'viability' ensures that teachers can provide all students with multiple opportunities to practice new skills, as well as timely feedback on their progress.

The Measured Curriculum

The 'Measured' curriculum ensures that students are learning. Whether the district is at risk for poor performance, or is meeting proficiency standards, all students have an equal opportunity to improve their learning in the essential skills and knowledge they will need to be successful in higher education and in the workplace. The elements that are 'measured' specifies what students will learn, the evidence used to demonstrate learning, and the ways of adapting instruction according to the needs of different learners. Instruction is adapted for all students: those who need additional practice and/or intervention and those who have achieved proficiency and require additional challenge.

Fostering Collaboration

The 'Relevant, Viable and Measurable' curriculum is explicit, pragmatic, and transparent. It is about making sure that in the available time students learn the essential skills and knowledge needed in the 21st Century. As a framework, it provides a rationale for targeted instruction based upon student needs, as well the coherence across grade levels that have been missing from traditional curricula. The coherence of the RVM framework provides a powerful incentive for shared practice and collaboration among teachers: the single most effective instructional practice on student learning [See 'Professional Learning Communities'].


Ainsworth, L. (2010). Rigorous Curriculum Design: How to Create Curricular Units of Study that Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment. Englewood: Lead & Learn Press

Camburn, E.M. & Han, S.W. (2011). Two Decades of Generalizable Evidence on U.S. Instruction from National Surveys. Teachers College Record, Vol. 113, No. 3 pp. 561-610.

Marzano, R. J. and Haystead, M.W. (2008). Making Standards Useful in the Classroom. Alexandria: ASCD.

Schmoker, M. (2011) Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning. Alexandria: ASCD

Texas Educational Service Center of Curriculum Collaborative. (2008).

A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum: Taking a Closer Look. CSCOPE

 © KnowledgeWare21

74 Milton Street, Northampton MA 01062
Contact Us: Contact@KW21.com 

Phone: 413.320.7830