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"WHAT WE TEACH ISN'T SOME SIDE BAR ISSUE IN AMERICAN EDUCATION;
IT IS AMERICAN EDUCATION"

 
StandardsWork, Inc. is releasing two papers today on behalf of the Knowledge Matters Campaign that shed new light on questions raised by the proliferation of K-12 curriculum options. The papers affirm that curriculum choices make a major difference in student learning outcomes but also highlight the fact the current research provides little insight into why this is the case. 

The first paper, entitled Do Curriculum Choices Matter?, contains results from the most exhaustive analysis to date on the impact of curriculum.  The second paper, a policy brief entitled, Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go, is a wake-up call to the research community. It identifies seven complex issues affecting the study of curriculum that will need to be tackled if we are, in the words of lead author Dr. David Steiner, “to make sense out of the chaos.” 

Dr. Steiner, who is Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Education Policy (IEP), notes that the impact of a student's being taught through a high-quality curriculum can be a full years' worth of additional learning over that achieved by a comparable student working with weak material – and that this impact only increases the longer a student continues to receive the advantage of a quality curriculum.    

“Perhaps the most important finding from this review is how messy the research on curriculum is,” said Barbara Davidson, President of StandardsWork. “Given its potential impact, and the fact that so much new curriculum is being developed in response to higher college- and career-ready standards, there is an urgent need to organize ourselves to better study the new materials, their methods, and their impact.”

To request a copy of the full working paper, Do Curriculum Choices Matter?, please email info@standardswork.org

 
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