There will be lots more to say about this shortly, but the New York Times this morning has word of promising results from a three-year study of the experimental Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) program, which has been piloted for the last several years in 10 New York City schools.
“For three years, a pilot program tracked the reading ability of approximately 1,000 students at 20 New York City schools, following them from kindergarten through second grade. Half of the schools adopted a curriculum designed by the education theorist E. D. Hirsch Jr.’s Core Knowledge Foundation. The other 10 used a variety of methods, but most fell under the definition of “balanced literacy,” an approach that was spread citywide by former Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, beginning in 2003.
“The study found that second graders who were taught to read using the Core Knowledge program scored significantly higher on reading comprehension tests than did those in the comparison schools.”
A web page on the Core Knowledge website links to the the NYC Department of Ed’s data, background on the program, a presentation on the research underpinnings and how the curriculum works with Common Core State Standards.