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K-2 CKLA Receives High Marks from, an independent nonprofit organization that seeks to improve K-12 education by providing detailed reviews of instructional materials, has released its first round of reviews of English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum materials for Grades K-2. Among the six programs analyzed in this first round of reviews, two meet all criteria for alignment and usability in all…

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Shared Knowledge and the Right Kind of Nationalism

In a new article, Core Knowledge founder E. D. Hirsch, Jr. explores the complex nature of nationalism and its relation to public schooling in the United States. “My thesis,” writes Hirsch, “is that our young people’s low opinion of their own country has been intensified by the current disrepute of nationalism in any form in our schools and universities. This anti-nationalism has been a big mistake.” Hirsch goes on to explore the role of schools in fostering “the right kind of nationalism.”

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Core Knowledge Online Assessment Seeks Pilot Schools

Did you ever finish teaching a Core Knowledge domain and wonder, “Did my students understand the big ideas? Did they learn what they need to know?” I know I have, more often than I care to admit.

As Core Knowledge educators, how do we assess student understanding in our classrooms? Our students are already being assessed frequently on state standards. We don’t want to introduce more stress or pressure. But we want to know that our students “got it.” What to do?

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Early CKLA Success in Hartsville, TN

Deanna Zarichansky is the Assistant Principal at Trousdale County Elementary School in Hartsville, TN

Our district adopted Core Knowledge [Language Arts] at the beginning of this school year. This has been the single most powerful curriculum implementation I have seen in my 16 years of education. We are a small district with a high rate of poverty, with many students who enter school with little to no experiences with literacy…

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Core Knowledge Launches New Website!

A website that’s been around for many years is like a garage in a long-occupied house—stuff piles up, accumulates, gets stacked on top of and behind things. It may be good stuff, but it can be hard to find or out of date. Sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and undertake a good spring cleaning.

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“It’s really cool”—Voices from a California CKLA School, and Thumbs Up from

Amplify Education, the Core Knowledge Foundation’s commercial publishing partner for the Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) program, has posted a video featuring CKLA in action at Alvina Elementary School in Caruthers, California. Also, in an independent report issued by, CKLA for grades 3-5 scored high on all criteria.

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“Why Knowledge Counts More Than Skill”

Our blog post title above is in quotation marks because it is quoted from an article by Doug Lemov (author of Teach Like a Champion). Lemov offers guidance to teachers asked to incorporate more nonfiction in their reading instruction. He notes that “many language arts teachers approach nonfiction structurally” and focus students’ attention on “how information is presented.” But, says Lemov, “how information is presented” is less important than what students know, since the text assumes (as all texts do) prior background knowledge.

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Lyles-Crouch Gets High Marks on State Report Card

Students and teachers at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy have something to celebrate. For this public school in Alexandria, Virginia—also a Core Knowledge School of Distinction—the latest State Report Card results put the school ahead of all other elementary schools in its district and overall ahead of the state as well. The Report Card provides test score…

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Why Knowledge Matters, E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

E. D. Hirsch, Jr.’s New Book Affirms Why Knowledge Matters

The ideas that thirty years ago prodded a scholar of English literature from the halls of academe into elementary school classrooms continue to motivate E. D. Hirsch, Jr. today. “I am still chiefly motivated by the social injustice of our dominant theories and their unwitting destruction of the American dream,” Dr. Hirsch affirms in the…

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Knowledge Needs Champions

Harriet Tubman will grace the front of our $20 bill—a long overdue tribute to a woman who lived up to the best of American values. But do most Americans know who she was? Anecdotal evidence and test scores indicate that they don’t.

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