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When Kids Collide with Content

“I’m not opposed to teaching about families, but teaching content goes much deeper.” What we need, says Susan Lambert, specialist in Early Literacy, is content “that involves rich vocabulary and engrossing associated concepts—content that … leads to engaging and invigorating conversations.”

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Happy Thirtieth Anniversary to Cultural Literacy!

In this back-to-school season, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of E. D. Hirsch, Jr.’s CULTURAL LITERACY, the book that started the Core Knowledge movement and sparked both heated arguments and thoughtful discussions, many ongoing today.

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Cultural Literacy and the Language of Upward Mobility

There is, without question, a language of privilege in America that excludes those who do not speak it fluently. And it is within our power as educators and policymakers to influence children’s acquisition of that language. But doing so will require a degree of clarity and candor to which we are unaccustomed when we talk about education.

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Why I’m (Still) Passionate About Core Knowledge

Time and again, I’ve been asked—often by very skeptical voices—why I am so passionate about Core Knowledge. I might point to results. But to explain why I remain passionate about Core Knowledge, I really have to bring you into a classroom. When you observe a Core Knowledge lesson in progress, you will be amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge students are exposed to.

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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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