Advancing The Ball

Hiding in Plain Sight: Leveraging Curriculum to Improve Student Learning

A must-read primer (and more!) on “The Curriculum Effect.” Congratulations to Chiefs for Change for laying this out so clearly.

Louisiana Threads the Needle on Ed Reform

EdNext article by Robert Pondiscio documenting Louisiana’s (state-led) curriculum reform efforts and how other states are starting to take notice.

Practice What You Teach

An important paper published by the Aspen Institute examining three successful efforts to raise instructional rigor by anchoring professional learning in the delivery of high quality curriculum.

Digging The Discourse

Knowledge is Power

Mike Petrilli documents the journey taken by the KIPP organization to embrace curriculum as a vital reform lever – and knowledge-building curriculum in particular – throughout their network of schools.

You’re 100% Wrong About Critical Thinking

A great Newsweek article makes the point, again, that “one cannot think critically without quite a lot of knowledge to think about” (Diane Ravitch, 2009).

American Educator features The Writing Revolution

A new book by Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler provides practical suggestions for significantly improving writing instruction and supporting knowledge-building at the same time. 

Finding The Good

Move Over Comprehension Strategies; Make Room for Background Knowledge*

*We’ve changed the headline on this blog from how it originally ran to clarify this point:  there IS a place for teaching comprehension strategies, but those strategies should not be the tail wagging the dog of reading instruction.  Our concern is that when we focus primarily on strategies, which have characterized a great deal of reading instruction in […]


Constructing practice sets that prod student thinking.

Pressing Our Point

Retrieval Practice: The Engine of Retention

Because strategies to boost student retention get short shrift in teacher training, Champion Teacher Doug Lemov’s recent blog and accompanying video on retrieval is novel and welcome. Instead of focusing on how to get information into students’ heads (as do most teacher training materials), he addresses how to get students to pull information out of […]

Why Building Content Knowledge is Crucial for Reading Comprehension

A recent analysis by the Center for Early Reading at Amplify makes clear once again the importance of background knowledge to reading comprehension. As a potential collateral benefit that is all too rare in education, that same background knowledge may also hold the key to doing well on current high stakes English language arts (ELA) […]

Our entry into the social-emotional learning debate

By Julie Greenberg

At StandardsWork, we encourage the use of high-octane instructional practices that improve student performance and have been searching high and low for videos that can help both teachers and lay viewers understand what these practices look like in the classroom. We hit the jackpot with an Expeditionary Learning video entitled “Austin’s Butterfly.” Watch it and […]