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ERIC Number: EJ936622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug-10
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Standards Writers Wade into Curriculum
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v30 n37 p1, 16-17 Aug 2011
New guidelines on crafting curriculum materials for the common standards in English/language arts are reigniting debate about how to ensure a marketplace of good instructional materials for the new standards without crossing the line into telling teachers how to teach. The focal point of the conversations is a set of "publishers' criteria" issued recently by the two lead writers of the English/language arts section of the common standards, which have been adopted by all but five states. Working under a contract with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an avid backer of the standards, David Coleman and Susan Pimentel wrote a pair of documents highlighting the key ideas of the standards and describing the qualities of instructional materials they consider a faithful reflection of them. The criteria center on aspects of the standards that represent a significant shift. The heart of that shift is an intense focus on close examination of text as the source for study across disciplines. Students are expected to learn how to conquer increasingly complex readings, both literary and informational; infer meaning from what they read, and build arguments based on evidence from the text. The guidelines discourage work that does not demand deep understanding of the studied text. The two publishers' criteria documents, totaling 24 pages, land in a swirl of discussion about how to create good curricula for the common-core standards, which emerged from an initiative led by the nation's governors and state schools chiefs. One central tension in the discussion has been trying to address the need for instructional tools without dictating pedagogy; another has been the question of who should shape curriculum design.
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 Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A