Giving Compass' Take:

• Susan Pimentel, writing for StandardsWork, discusses what a curriculum renaissance is and how it will impact schools by widening options for student achievement. 

• How can teachers help advance the curriculum renaissance? 

• Read about the challenges in crafting a flexible curriculum. 

Recently I contributed a piece to Education Week, “Why Doesn’t Every Teacher Know the Research on Reading Instruction?” My intention was to support and even broaden the important national conversation about reading instruction that was spawned by Emily Hanford’s “Hard Words” documentary. This conversation has continued to have a great deal of fuel, as local papers have begun writing about shortcomings in reading instruction and Hanford brought the conversation to the editorial page of the NYTimes.

In my piece, I called attention to two other areas of reading research that deserve attention: the importance of content knowledge to reading comprehension and the importance of getting all kids to read texts on their grade level. I asserted that we are in the midst of a renaissance in the curriculum space that could have a profound impact on the results being experienced in classrooms.

The curriculum renaissance represents a transition, with important policy considerations that we invite education advocates to consider (e.g. How can our state curriculum adoption processes become more open and responsive to newer, smaller entrants?)

As educators experience ‘aha’ moments about the need for stronger phonics instruction, let’s talk about some other literacy practices that need fixing in elementary classrooms. Here’s my short list of practices and resources to add to the conversation:

  • Let all kids read the good stuff. 
  • Build students’ general content knowledge.
  • Let quality English/language arts curriculum do some of the heavy-lifting.

Read the full article about building a renaissance curriculum by Susan Pimentel at StandardsWork