CONTACT:  BARABARA DAVIDSON                                                    

Tour Will Highlight Local Efforts to Implement High-Quality Instructional Materials

The Knowledge Matters Campaign will visit Massachusetts districts over the next six weeks as part of a national tour that highlights schools and districts using high-quality instructional materials to improve student engagement and achievement. Massachusetts districts being selected are ones that have pioneered the adoption of a new class of curriculum that was intentionally developed to support teachers in delivering equitable, rigorous, and engaging instruction.  

The Knowledge Matter School Tour, which has been ongoing since early 2018, showcases school districts across the country implementing curriculum that intentionally builds student’s background knowledge of the world as their literacy and numeracy skills are being developed.  The first Massachusetts district being visited is Taunton Public Schools, which is using a new middle school science curriculum called OpenSciEd.  This curriculum – which asks students to answer a series of increasingly complicated questions that require an investigation of scientific phenomena (e.g. Why does a lot of hail, rain, or snow fall at some times and not others) – is being used in 24 districts around the state.  

“We are honored to have the Knowledge Matters Campaign visit us,” Massachusetts’ Senior Associate Commissioner for Instructional Support, Dr. Heather Peske, shared.  “One of the most important decisions district and school leaders can make to help students receive the best possible instruction every day is to adopt, and then support teachers in implementing, high-quality instructional materials.”

“We have been impressed by actions taken at the state- and district-level to support the adoption of high-quality curriculum and to provide teachers with the resources they need so they can focus their energies on bringing rigorous, engaging lessons to life,” said Barbara Davidson, Executive Director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign.  

The School Tour is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to share with other educators what their learning journey has entailed.  Embracing a unified, core curriculum – rather than creating curriculum themselves – is a new approach for many educators.  One goal of the Tour is to learn from these districts how using such curricula has helped them continue to accelerate student learning, even as students are coming off of the most unusual 2020-21 Covid-impacted school year.   

A feature of the Tour – to which the media is specifically invited – is a Roundtable Discussion that gives school leaders, teachers, and parents an opportunity to share the impact the curriculum is having on students. 


Taunton Public Schools Visit:  September 16-17, 2021

Other dates to be announced soon

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 over 20 districts across the country whose implementation of high-quality, knowledge-building curricula is considered by the campaign to be praiseworthy.