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ERIC Number: EJ797230
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-21
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Learning Essentials
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy
Education Week, v27 n38 p23-25 May 2008
Like teachers in many urban school districts with large numbers of disadvantaged children, the faculty at New Holland Core Knowledge Academy strives to build the foundational skills necessary for later academic success. At New Holland, however, content is king. While many schools have narrowed the curriculum since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, doubling up on reading and math instruction to prepare students for crucial tests in those subjects, this school has embraced a far broader course of study. Each day, its students tackle a rich and rigorous sequence of lessons in history, science, and the arts, as well as mathematics and reading/language arts. This [curriculum] does expose their children to a lot of information, not just skills. That information is based on the work of E.D. Hirsch Jr., a professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia, who argued in his 1987 book "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know" that a common body of knowledge is essential for students to become productive and engaged citizens. He included lists of thousands of facts, phrases, events, and figures in history, literature, and the arts, which translated into a dictionary of cultural literacy, and books on what students should know at each grade level. The Core Knowledge curriculum was rolled out the next year, outlining K-8 content in math and language arts, science, world history, American history, geography, art, and music. The proposal sparked a national conversation about essential knowledge, but proved controversial for suggesting a canon dominated by the accomplishments of white Europeans and the Judeo-Christian tradition at a time when multicultural education was gaining attention.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001