Why Curriculum Matters

Writing for redefinED, Ashley Berner recently released a four-part series on the power of high-quality curriculum. Excerpts from the first article are below, and links to all four posts appear at the bottom of the page: It is a truth universally acknowledged that high-performing school systems around the world require students to master serious academic Read more about Why Curriculum Matters[…]

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The Return: How Should Education Leaders Prepare for Reentry and Beyond?

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and Chiefs for Change released a report that outlines relevant research and provides key recommendations for reopening K-12 schools when public health officials deem it is safe to do so. A bipartisan network of state and district education leaders, Chiefs for Change, turned to the Institute for its Read more about The Return: How Should Education Leaders Prepare for Reentry and Beyond?[…]

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14 Charts That Changed the Way We Looked at America’s Schools in 2019

Kevin Mahnken, writing for The 74, recently selected 14 charts from research conducted in 2019 that have changed the way we look at education in America. These charts help illustrate important studies into school funding disparities, college dropout rates and shifting public opinion. And with a minimum of verbiage, they let the reader know what Read more about 14 Charts That Changed the Way We Looked at America’s Schools in 2019[…]

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How to Help Students who are Several Grade Levels Behind

All 2019 Wonkathon submissions are in. This year’s Wonkathon asked contributors to address a fundamental and challenging question: What’s the best way to help students who are several grade levels behind? Fordham’s Flypaper received nineteen submissions from policy experts and education practitioners. As expected, there was a wide range of solutions offered, and no two Read more about How to Help Students who are Several Grade Levels Behind[…]

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Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends

Recently for The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay provided an overview of scientific research that finds that content knowledge is crucial to effective critical thinking. Portions of the piece appear below: Critical thinking is all the rage in education. Schools brag that they teach it on their websites and in open houses to impress parents. Some Read more about Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends[…]

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Open Source Science Curriculum

OpenSciEd has launched to address the need among teachers and school districts for high-quality, open-source, full-course science instructional materials. Science literacy and successful completion of high school science courses is critical for students’ success in a growing STEM economy. The first OpenSciEd units for grades 6-8 are available now, after extensive field testing in ten Read more about Open Source Science Curriculum[…]

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Alignment Matters: A Framework for Advancing Student Learning and Promoting Equity

What do high performing schools have in common? Among other things, they have rigorous academic standards, rich curriculum, and high-quality assessments. They also have well-trained educators who have regular access to accurate and useful data. And they have a culture of equity that undergirds their work. All of these reinforce one another to drive student Read more about Alignment Matters: A Framework for Advancing Student Learning and Promoting Equity[…]

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Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials

Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs, released a report showing that many states, tacitly or explicitly, promote the use of low-quality K-12 instructional materials. In the most recent review cycles, some states did not approve even a single highly rated curriculum for school districts to use — despite research Read more about Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials[…]

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From Great Materials to Great Instruction

Instruction Partners, an organization that works with small school systems to strengthen instruction and accelerate student learning, has been working to understand what differentiates better outcomes in school reform projects. Up until now, research has held few practical answers about what specific actions could result in better implementation quality. Instruction Partners engaged in a two-year Read more about From Great Materials to Great Instruction[…]

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The Importance of High-Quality Instructional Materials

Learning Forward has released a special open-access issue of The Learning Professional. It builds on a vital topic for educators: the use of high-quality instructional materials. All students deserve access to high-quality content, and all teachers deserve support to implement it well. The message from research is straightforward: instructional materials matter. Good materials in the Read more about The Importance of High-Quality Instructional Materials[…]

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Curriculum as a Lever for Change

Ashley Berner, writing for Fordham’s Flypaper, explores the power of curriculum as a serious lever for change. Her post summarizes the research on this important topic. Excerpts appear below: American policymakers haven’t usually viewed curriculum as a serious lever for change. This is unfortunate, since a growing body of research suggests that a high-quality curriculum, Read more about Curriculum as a Lever for Change[…]

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High-Quality Curricula and Team-Based Professional Learning: A Perfect Partnership for Equity

Learning Forward has released a new report, High-Quality Curricula and Team Based Professional Learning: A Perfect Partnership for Equity. This report is based on three premises: Research has found that effective teaching and high-quality materials both matter for student learning. Effective use of curriculum requires teachers who understand it deeply and use it with intentionality Read more about High-Quality Curricula and Team-Based Professional Learning: A Perfect Partnership for Equity[…]

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Reimagining Middle School

Robert C. Pianta, Dean of the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, recently wrote an article for RealClear Education in which he discusses the pitfalls of middle school and the possibilities for middle grades education. Excerpts from his piece appear below: Compliance. Restraint. Passivity. These are the behaviors and habits of mind that our Read more about Reimagining Middle School[…]

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Evidence for Student-Centered Learning

For the past 35 years, the prevailing narrative about America’s public education system is that it is “broken.” Reform efforts have failed to find a fix because they fundamentally misunderstand this reality: the system is not broken. It is doing exactly what it was designed to do-educate the masses in a standardized fashion that completely Read more about Evidence for Student-Centered Learning[…]

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10 Evidence-Based Policies and Practices for Assessment

The Meadows Center at the University of Texas at Austin has released a piece outlining 10 evidence-based policies and practices for high-quality assessment in schools, along with the research supporting them. These policies/practices include the following: School leadership ensures that teachers have a shared understanding of the curriculum and standards across the grades. Schools use Read more about 10 Evidence-Based Policies and Practices for Assessment[…]

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Chiefs for Change’s Bipartisan Vision for America’s Schools

A functional consensus is emerging among the nation’s boldest education leaders, producing not identical policies, but a set of vital principles that drive approaches shaped to the needs of each of their communities. It’s a set of principles born of extensive work, with the needs of students at the center. It’s worthy of the attention Read more about Chiefs for Change’s Bipartisan Vision for America’s Schools[…]

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