NY1 has an article about the standardize core that has been proposed for the US. Many schools do not like that there is a national standard curriculum, however some schools have started testing the national curriculum in order to not only save time but to show there support
Ten New York City schools are testing out a new curriculum called Core Knowledge, which focuses on getting readers to understand what the words they are reading mean
At PS 333 in Manhattan, a school where most children come from poor families, kindergartners can read and write.
But it’s what they’re reading and writing about that’s significant.
Recently, it’s been China, India and Japan. Down the hall, first graders study America’s westward expansion.
It’s one of 10 city schools piloting a new curriculum called Core Knowledge, a reading program that focuses on understanding history, culture, religion, politics and science.
The theory is good readers need to really know what words mean.
“Most of us think of reading as a skill but it’s not. In order to understand what we read, you have to know all the words, but you also have to have background knowledge about the subject you’re reading about,” said Core Knowledge Communications Director Robert Pondiscio.
Teachers say the program makes a difference. So do early research results.
In a study recently released by the city, students at the Core Knowledge schools scored higher on reading comprehension tests than students using other reading programs. They also did better on science and social studies tests.
“To see someone in first or second grade speaking to you about the different world religions or the American west, it’s just really impressive,” said PS 333 Principal Angela Logan.
Core Knowledge is now likely to expand to more schools. The state recently announced it’s spending some of the funding won from the “Race to the Top” competition to buy the program. That means any school that wants to use the curriculum will be able to by 2013, which is also the deadline for schools to be teaching to the new national learning standards.
“Exposure to information about the world will help them become better readers,” said State Education Director John King.
The hope is you might soon hear five-year-olds discussing how arranged marriage has historically helped perpetuate monarchies, although maybe not in those exact words.