National Campaign to Visit Maryland Schools to Highlight Exemplary Literacy Instruction

The three-district school tour will focus on knowledge-building ELA curriculum

April 3, 2024 The Knowledge Matters Campaign is excited to announce upcoming visits to three Maryland school districts implementing high-quality, knowledge-rich English language arts (ELA)/literacy curricula. The Maryland School Tour comes at an important time in efforts to rally Marylanders around evidence-based literacy practices, often referred to as the “Science of Reading,” with many reeling from a recent report by the advocacy organization Maryland READS, entitled “The Silent Crisis of our Ten Year Decline.” The report endorses Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) efforts to push districts to adopt high-quality curriculum and provide literacy training for teachers.

In a move heralded by literacy experts as significant, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the state’s largest school district, earlier this month adopted Core Knowledge Language Arts/Amplify (CKLA) for grades K-5. CKLA is one of eight curricula that, in addition to being recognized for its alignment to college- and career-ready standards, is celebrated by the Knowledge Matters Campaign as exceptional for its content-richness, a key component of the Science of Reading. MCPS plans to start training teachers in use of the curriculum as early as this spring. 

Other promising developments in the state include last fall’s appointment of Dr. Carey Wright, a highly-regarded literacy champion, as Interim State Superintendent of Schools. Wright is credited with raising literacy scores in Mississippi where she served as state superintendent for nearly a decade. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the Knowledge Matters School Tour to my home state of Maryland,” said Barbara Davidson, executive director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign. “We’re eager to share the stories of educators who are already underway implementing evidence-based practices in their classrooms.”

Since 2018, the Knowledge Matters Campaign—whose motto is to “find the good and praise it”—has visited more than 50 districts across the country where educators have shifted their instruction to embrace knowledge-building curricula. Blogs describing these visits are available on the Campaign’s website.

Tour Details

  • Wicomico County Public Schools: April 16-17, 2024 – Fishtank ELA
  • Washington County Public Schools: April 23-24, 2024 – Core Knowledge/Amplify
  • Cecil County Public Schools: Date to be determined – Bookworms

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About the Knowledge Matters Campaign

The Knowledge Matters Campaign is a project of StandardsWork, a non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to “find the good and praise it.” The campaign garners national awareness for the importance of building students’ background knowledge of the world through high-quality literacy instruction. To date, the Knowledge Matters School Tour has visited more than 45 districts across the country whose implementation of high-quality, knowledge-building curricula is considered by the campaign to be praiseworthy.