Why is it important that curriculum planning and assessment be linked together; can one exist without the other?
It is also important that students can see the 'destination' (to quote #3) as they need to know what they are learning, why they are learning it and how to apply that learning. The assessment is a vital tool for determining what has been learnt, and the curriculum should ensure that the learning process can take place.
I agree with the above posts that curriculum planning and student assessment go hand in hand. If students are to be evaluated on their progress in set goals which also measures the effectiveness of the teacher and the school, curriculum must be planned to make sure that the school is setting meaningful goals that truly move the student forward to the best end result. Planning is everything because no one can do a good job unless they know where they are supposed to be going which is what curriculum planning does. Then you can assess. So yes, they need to be together.
The two share one aim so they should not even be considered to be separate. The curriculum plan sets out the goals of a course and the assessment measures the success of the plan and its institution while reinforcing the goals of the curriculum.
I'd like to say the relationship is like the hammer to the nail.
It's hard to imagine them being separated. Assessment determines whether the planned curriculum has been successful; if it has not been, then assessment helps suggest ways in which the curriculum should be modified. Curriculum planning helps determine which kinds of assessments are appopriate. I think the two must be tightly tied.
It's a circular relationship, and you have to have both parts of the circle to make it work. There's no point in teaching material that isn't going to be assessed in this age of high stakes testing, so the curriculum you plan to deliver has to relate to the assessment required by your district, state, or other mandates.
I took the question to refer to the assessment of the curriculum. This is a good point to consider, because not all curricula are equal. Some are much better than others. So, if something is not working, it is necessary to change even the curriculum. For this to happen, we need to have an assessment of the curriculum.
You really need to have them in tandem. First you have to decide what the important points of the material are. Then you decide how you are going to test for understanding of those things. Then you design your instruction toward the goal of having students gain the understanding so they can do well on the test.
Here's a good link to a backwards design site that will help explain:
No, these two cannot exist without one another. In order to know what kind of a curriculum is needed, you must also know what sorts of assessments you are going to be giving along the way.
In order for assessments to be worthwhile, they have to test the things that you have taught over the course of a unit or a semester or what have you. Conversely, a good lesson has to have good assessments that both measure student knowledge and help them retain that knowledge. Given these factors, it is clear that curriculum planning and assessment planning must go together. If this is done, the lessons and the assessments can be one seamless product that will enhance student learning.