National Campaign to Celebrate High-Quality Curriculum Selection by NYC Schools as District Embarks on Historic Improvements

Literacy leaders will investigate student and teacher impact of bringing research-aligned materials to New York City elementary schools

The Knowledge Matters Campaign is excited to announce upcoming visits to two New York City school districts, both of which use English Language Arts (ELA) curricula hailed by literacy experts for their alignment with research on how children learn to read at high levels. The curricula, EL Education and Wit & Wisdom, have been selected as options for NYC Schools as the system makes important shifts to reading instruction for NYC school students.

Because of the crucial role knowledge plays in reading comprehension, reading researchers have called on educators to focus on building students’ background knowledge of the world beginning in the earliest grades. Leaders at EdTrustNY have also called for knowledge-building curricula in New York schools. Both EL Education and Wit & Wisdom have been applauded by reading experts and educators for their success with knowledge building, as well as other literacy essentials that restore wonder and curiosity to ELA instruction.

“New York City has a historic opportunity to change the conversation about reading instruction. We hope that by listening to and sharing the stories of pioneering NYC schools where knowledge-building curricula have been used for years, others will be inspired,” said Barbara Davidson, executive director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign. 

The Knowledge Matters Campaign will visit two districts: Bronx 11, which has been using EL Education since 2019, and Brooklyn 19, which adopted Wit & Wisdom in 2018.  

“Designing curriculum that actively cultivates children’s knowledge of the world, as well as academic vocabulary in science, history, literature, and the arts, starting in Kindergarten, is not easy and these two programs do a superb job,” said Susan Pimentel, lead author of the Common Core Standards in ELA and co-founder of StandardsWork, which sponsors the Knowledge Matters Campaign. “We are excited that NYC schools have such high-quality options to choose from and are eager to help share these districts’ stories.”

Since 2018, the Knowledge Matters School Tour—whose motto is to “find the good and praise it”—has visited more than 35 school districts across the country where educators are adopting evidence-based and engaging content-rich curricula. Each visit offers teachers and school leaders the opportunity to share with other educators what their learning journey has entailed and the successes they are experiencing. 

Tour Details

  • June 5, 2023: P.S. 169 Baychester Academy, Bronx 11 – EL Education
  • June 6, 2023: P.S. 325 Fresh Creek Elementary, Brooklyn 19 – Wit & Wisdom

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About the Knowledge Matters Campaign

The Knowledge Matters Campaign is a project of StandardsWork, a non-profit advocacy organization that focuses on identifying high-impact levers that produce academic improvements, specifically the vital role curriculum plays in supporting teaching excellence, the importance of building deep background knowledge in students, and the “octane” that specific evidence-based instructional practices can provide. Through media campaigns, publications, blogs, and thought leadership, StandardsWork highlights the benefits of high-quality curriculum adoption and implementation, promotes research on the “curriculum effect,” and elevates educator voices in support of a curriculum renaissance.