The Baseball Experiment

In 1987, two young researchers from Marquette University ran an experiment. Their results showed that even as many Language Arts programs emphasize “reading strategies,” knowledge counts much more than you might think when it comes to understanding text.

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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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K-2 CKLA Receives High Marks from EdReports.org

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

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 EdReports.org, CKLA for grades 3-5 scored high on all criteria.

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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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Dear Chiefs: This Is Your Chance to Close the Reading Achievement Gap

Assuming all goes as planned, we should have a new federal education law by the end of the year. Dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), this version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would greatly increase states’ options for evaluating schools and teachers. As this ESSA cheat sheet explains: States would still have…

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Writing for Understanding

Back in 2003, Sam Wineburg, a history professor at Stanford, published a little essay (or quick rant) titled “Power Pointless.” I can’t find it online now, but it amounted to a plea to have students write papers instead of merely creating presentations. Bullet points can hide incomplete understandings; essays tend to reveal them. Wineburg’s piece…

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