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CKLA Is Online for Free

CKLA Is Online for Free From student activity books to teacher guides, everything needed for preschool–third grade and several units from grades 4–5 are fully available for free using the CKLA Download Manager. More…

CKLA Preschool Kits

CKLA Preschool Kits CKLA Preschool Classroom Kits and accompanying Student Activity Books are now available for purchase from Amplify Learning. Order yours today! More…

What's New?

January, 2016

Teach Like a Champion Author Tackles Reading in New Book

Doug Lemov, the best-selling author of Teach Like a Champion, is releasing another book in March titled Reading Reconsidered. Education Week’s Liana Heitin writes:

This book looks at domain-specific teaching knowledge—that is, answering questions like, “How do I make nonfiction accessible to my students?” and “What kinds of questions should I ask during a close-reading lesson?”

The techniques are informed by the work of well-known researchers, including educational psychologist Daniel T. Willingham, University of Pittsburgh education professor emerita Isabel L. Beck, and E.D. Hirsch Jr., the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation and the author of several books on cultural literacy, the authors say.

Read Education Week's full article about Lemov's new book.

2015 Highlights

Why Knowledge Matters

On November 10, the Hopkins-Hunter Forum for Education Policy and Core Knowledge hosted a conversation assessing the role that a strong curriculum might play in narrowing the achievement gap. Expert panelists included David Coleman, President of the College Board; Michelle Allen, Icahn Charter School Principal; Valarie Lewis, Core Knowledge Fellow and Former Principal, P.S. 124; and Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep. These experts examined and discussed the evidence that promotes the teaching of a sequenced, content-rich curriculum—something an increasing number of educators have come to believe this will create equal opportunities for their students. Watch the recorded event.

Why Knowledge Is the Key to Skills—and the Common Core

On October 29th, the Core Knowledge Foundation and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute sponsored a discussion of why the pursuit of skills is widening the achievement gap—and what we can do about it.

Focusing on creating digitally savvy life-long learners sounds great; but cognitive science shows that trying to cultivate skills directly—without a knowledge-rich curriculum—is pure folly. The Common Core addresses this problem by increasing the amount of informational text students read and calling for curricula “intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades.” Watch the recorded event.

CKLA P–5 Implementation Resources Guide

Introducing the CKLA P–5 Implementation Resources Guide! This guide organizes many free resources designed to strengthen teacher and leader competencies regarding different facets of the CKLA program. In the guide, you will find links to helpful resources such as on-demand webinars, turnkey training materials, video clips, and alignment charts.

2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Congratulations to three Core Knowledge Schools! Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, High Peaks Elementary School, and Icahn Charter School 2 made the list. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Blue Ribbon Schools based on overall academic excellence or progress toward closing the achievement gaps. Read more about this great accomplishment.

What Every American Needs to Know

On the Milt Rosenberg Show, E.D. Hirsch, Jr., describes his pioneering work in the field of cultural literacy, and the effect of coherent, knowledge-rich curricula like CKLA for students in schools around the country. Listen to the full episode.

The Origins of Knowledge-Based Learning: Q & A with E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

E.D. Hirsch, Jr., explains why knowledge building makes the difference in reading comprehension. Learn how Core Knowledge determined the knowledge students need and how to address the “knowledge problem”. Learn more and read the full Q & A report.

DC Schools Shift the Focus of Teaching Reading on Skills to Building Knowledge

“For decades, elementary schools have focused on building skills at the expense of instilling knowledge. One DC charter school network, Center City, is in the forefront of a movement to reverse that approach.”  Read more about How one DC charter school is “changing everything” to give kids knowledge.

Icahn Charter Schools Help to End Poverty

“The Icahn Charter School network in the South Bronx has been quietly registering extraordinary test results for years, while nurturing its students in an atmosphere of "unconditional love," as its emotive leader, Jeff Litt, puts it.” Read more about How To End Poverty in the South Bronx.

Independent Review Finds CKLA “Strong and Compelling”

Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is transforming the early grades! As a new review from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute states:

  • “The Core Knowledge curriculum sets a strong and compelling example for curriculum developers.”
  • “Overall, CKLA’s coverage of writing, language, listening, and speaking is very strong.”
  • “The coverage of foundational reading skills in CKLA is outstanding.”

Nearly a decade ago, the Core Knowledge Foundation saw the need for an elementary-grades language arts program that would ensure students master foundational skills while also building broad knowledge and vocabulary in literature, science, and history. We aimed to create a fundamentally different, higher-quality program—and we succeeded.

CKLA was chosen by the New York State Education Department as its recommended curriculum for preschool through second grade, and posted on EngageNY. Building on this success, the Foundation soon had CKLA domains for preschool through fifth grade online for free download. To date, well over 2.5 million CKLA files have been downloaded—for free—in all 50 states!

Knowing that educators are searching for curricula truly aligned to the Common Core State Standards, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute commissioned Elizabeth Haydel and Sheila Byrd Carmichael, two nationally recognized experts in standards-based education, to review the English language arts curriculum modules on EngageNY. Titled Uncommonly Engaging? A Review of the EngageNY English Language Arts Common Core Curriculum, the report gives high marks overall to the EngageNY modules. Regarding CKLA, the reviewers found that:

The texts in the Listening and Learning Strand are sufficiently complex—often difficult—as well as important, worthy of rereading, and well chosen to build students’ cultural and academic literacy. There is also an excellent balance of fiction and nonfiction, including a significant number of high-quality informational texts....

The pre-K–2 curriculum places knowledge—including literary knowledge—at the center. This emphasis is grounded in research that demonstrates a strong link between reading comprehension and content knowledge....

The Core Knowledge curriculum sets a strong and compelling example for curriculum developers, as it lays out a detailed sequence of instruction across a range of domains. (In second grade, for instance, the domains include Early Asian Civilizations and the Ancient Greek Civilization.)...

Overall, CKLA’s coverage of writing, language, listening, and speaking is very strong....

The coverage of foundational reading skills in CKLA is outstanding.

Literacy Ladders

Literacy Ladders is a curated collection of articles that summarize high-quality research, practices, and policies related to literacy development throughout early childhood and elementary school. Developed by the Albert Shanker Institute, American Federation of Teachers, and Core Knowledge Foundation, Literacy Ladders begins with an overview by leading researcher Marilyn Jager Adams. This volume will help teachers, administrators, and policymakers support childcare centers and schools in using best practices for language and literacy development.

2014 Highlights

The Wealth of Words

E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s webinar as part of Student Success Week is now available online. In this webinar, Hirsch shares his insights on the importance of content-rich curriculum and how the teaching of vocabulary--within the context of a cumulative and sequenced curriculum--can affect change in our educational system.

The Top Innovative Person in Education Today?

Why, that would be none other than E. D. Hirsch, Jr.! Read the full article, featuring Hirsch along with another 30 innovators, here.

E. D. Hirsch Included in The Politico 50

E. D. Hirsch's dedication to equalizing opportunity is recognized with his inclusion in the Politico 50. As noted in its encapsulation of his work, "Hirsch’s argument was revolutionary: All children, regardless of background, should be taught the shared intellectual foundation—from Euclid to Shakespeare to Seneca Falls—needed ‘to thrive in the modern world.’”

Taken for Granted: Why Curriculum Content Is Like Oxygen

In the latest issue of American Educator, Carolyn Gosse and Lisa Hansel discuss why "a rich curriculum is the necessary precondition for improving schools" and how Core Knowledge Language Arts, a child-friendly, content-rich program, is helping students build broad background knowledge early. Read the full article, as well as other great articles by Susan Neuman and Tanya Wright, Chrys Dougherty, and Ruth Wattenburg on the importance of giving young children the content they deserve, in the full issue.