Uncorking Core Knowledge
A New York Times bestseller currently declares “free” to be a “radical price,” and incomparably better than “inexpensive.” Perhaps said book was on E.D. Hirsch’s nightstand recently, because he’s decided to give his Core Knowledge curriculum away for free. While it will continue to charge for its other products (and charge for a printed and bound version of the curriculum), his foundation stands to lose $100,000 a year--one-eighth of its operating budget--by giving away its most fundamental resource. (Previously it would have run you $35.) But in our current “incoherent system,” Hirsch sees this as a small price to take advantage of “a moment when we really could change the direction.” And this moment comes thanks to the Common Core State Standards Initiative; Core Knowledge plans to align its curriculum sequence to the standards that result from that effort. Core Knowledge originally criticized the draft CCSSI standards for being weak on content and heavy on skills; but it is now hoping to bolster them by providing a top-notch supplement. There’s a growing suspicion that “common core standard aligned” will be the new catchy marketing ploy for curriculum developers everywhere; as of yet undecided, of course, is how said alignment will be determined or moderated. For now, though, CK’s curriculum is a great place for districts looking for new CCSSI-ready content.
“Core Knowledge to Link Curriculum to Core Standards,” by Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, February 1, 2010 (subscription required)
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