CONTACT:  BARABARA DAVIDSON                                                    

School Tour Examines Shift in How Young Students are Taught to Read

The Knowledge Matters Campaign is excited to announce an upcoming visit to school districts across the state of Massachusetts that have recently adopted new English language arts/literacy curriculum designed to improve reading outcomes.

These districts are pioneers, since each is an early mover in shifting away from use of curriculum that has earned growing critique for weak alignment to research on how kids learn to read. The visit to Massachusetts will capture and highlight what motivated these forward-looking districts to make this shift, and how they went about the change, in hopes that they can serve as models for the field.

The campaign – whose motto is to “find the good and praise it” – garners national awareness for the importance of building students’ background knowledge of the world through highquality literacy instruction. Since 2018, over 20 districts across the country whose implementation of high-quality, knowledge-building curricula is considered praiseworthy have been visited as part of the Knowledge Matters School Tour

“We are in the midst of what I believe will be looked back on as a time of historic change in reading instruction in this country”, said Barbara Davidson, Executive Director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign. “Educators are increasingly compelled by evidence from neuroscience and cognitive psychology about how children learn to read the words on a page and make meaning from them. How teachers concluded they needed to change their practice – and how they went about making that shift – has enormous implications for education in general.”

The following districts/schools will be visited. Media is invited to participate.

  • UP Academy Holland – November 8
  • Pentucket Regional School District – November 9
  • Salem Public Schools – November 9
  • Southbridge Public Schools – November 10

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 highquality curriculum adoption and implementation, promotes research on the “curriculum effect,” and elevates educator voices in support of a curriculum renaissance.