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We've launched this blog with the hope of cultivating a wide-ranging forum for discussing school curriculum. By "curriculum," we generally mean the meat-and-bones of academic lessons -- what gets taught, in what order, at what grades. This obviously covers a lot of ground--policies, programs and materials, trends, standards and assessments, research, controversies, and best practices.

Over the past few years, the two of us have reported on a bevy of curriculum topics, including how the federal Reading First program has been implemented, the recommendations of the National Math Panel, and the status of social studies, foreign language, the arts, and other subjects that aren't tested under No Child Left Behind. We've also looked at math and science lessons, and their potential to challenge students to excel in those subjects, or turn them off, as well as ongoing debates about how to teach evolution.

From our reporting--whether on site or on the phone--we've stuffed notebooks and word files with a lot of information about the content of schooling. You'll find some of it here, and we hope you'll help us fill out the picture.

All comments, questions, curriculum-related manifestos welcome!


As a professor of educational administration and former long-time school administrator, I am deeply concerned about the skewing of the curriculum (particularly at the elementary level today) toward reading and math. I believe we have the curriculum out of balance (and a survey I just ran of many New York State administrators concurs) and we need to right the ship. What gets measured gets done and what gets published (made public) gets teachers and adminsitrators are tolerating this imbalance. Have we lost sight of the whole child????

I don't think there is a conspiracy against nonfiction books and serious research papers in the public high schools. I just think there is a general agreement not to assign research papers because they are too much work for the teacher, and no nonfiction books because the English department chooses the books and they are all fiction. But kids are poorer readers and more incompetent writers as a result...

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