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A Call for Common Content

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To be clear, by "curriculum" we mean a coherent, sequential set of guidelines in the core academic disciplines, specifying the content knowledge and skills that all students are expected to learn, over time, in a thoughtful progression across the grades. We do not mean performance standards, textbook offerings, daily lesson plans, or rigid pedagogical prescriptions.

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We, the undersigned, representing viewpoints from across the political and educational spectrum, believe that whether children live in Mississippi or Minnesota, Berkeley or the Bronx, our expectations for their achievement should be equally high.

We therefore applaud the goals of the recently released Common Core State Standards, already adopted in most states, which articulate a much clearer vision of what students should learn and be able to do as they progress through school. For our nation, this represents a major advance toward declaring that "equal educational opportunity" is a top priority — not empty rhetoric.

We also caution that attaining the goals provided by these standards requires a clear road map in the form of rich, common curriculum content, along with resources to support successfully teaching all students to mastery. Shared curriculum in the core academic subjects would give shape and substance to the standards, and provide common ground for the creation of coherent, high-quality instructional supports — especially texts and other materials, assessments, and teacher training.

To accomplish this, our nation must finally answer questions it has avoided for generations: What is it, precisely, that we expect all educated citizens to have learned? What explicit knowledge, skills, and understanding of content will help define the day-to-day work of teaching and learning?

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With U.S. education's long history of state administration and local control, the very idea of common curriculum guidance will strike many as overly controversial. The fear of centralization, institutional rigidity, and narrow-minded political orthodoxy is deeply ingrained in our political sensibility—beginning with our Constitution's implicit delegation of education's governance to the states. But now, in an era when states are coming to recognize the national importance of a coherent education system, they are working together to find ways to raise expectations for all. They are showing a willingness to trade state-by-state invention and reinvention for a more shared implementation of successful practices together with the possibility of greater economies of scale—in effect, to create a new and more consistent system.

Common curriculum guidance does not represent a straitjacket or a narrowing of learning possibilities. States' use of the kinds of curriculum guidelines that we advocate in the core academic subjects would be purely voluntary, comprising only about 50 to 60 percent of what is to be taught—leaving room for state, regional, and local variations to reflect student contexts and state and local prerogatives. The curriculum guides we seek would offer a practical road map for achieving the goals set by standards in the limited instructional time available to teachers. They would illuminate grade-level expectations for teaching and learning progressions for students. They would provide a coherent, substantive, sequential plan that clarifies the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn in the core academic subjects. They would enable the creation of all kinds of matching resources—technology offerings, texts, and teacher-made materials, as well as field trips and other outside-of-school resources—which teachers could use, share, and adapt across state and district lines, confident that their students were being adequately prepared for each succeeding grade and for the academic demands of college and career.

While the work before us begins with the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, we want to stress that a quality education should also include history, geography, the sciences, civics, the arts, foreign languages, technology, health, and physical education. Standards-setting and curriculum development must be done for these as well.

All teachers and students will ultimately profit from thoughtful curriculum guidance — based on the demands of the disciplines and an understanding of how children learn at various stages of their development. In a society much more diverse than that of our forebears, we expect that this work—deciding what knowledge and skills are most essential for our children to have, and how they can best be acquired—will be challenging. Yet educational quality and equity demand that our schools take on this important task.

Why Common, Rich Curriculum Content Is Key to Systemic Reform

At any age and in any field, what we already know enables us to understand, retain, and employ new knowledge. Knowledge accumulation begins from the earliest days of life. It builds through years of verbal and nonverbal interactions with parents, caregivers, and teachers, who model spoken language and help young children develop vocabulary, concepts, and theories about the world. As might be expected, children from more economically advantaged backgrounds typically have an early start in this process of knowledge acquisition—with a significant advantage in oral language skill and information mastery by the time they enter preschool.

These differences turn out to be crucial: high-quality research demonstrates that disparities in oral language and general knowledge at school entry explain most of the effect of socioeconomic status on elementary school performance.1 It is not poverty in itself, but poverty's accompanying life conditions that help to explain performance gaps that begin at home and extend into secondary school and beyond.

Today, the information we need to minimize these performance gaps is in our hands, waiting to be used. Thanks to advances in cognitive science, we now understand that reading comprehension — so essential to almost all academic learning — depends in large part on knowledge.2 In experiments, when students who are "poor" readers are asked to read about a topic they know well (such as baseball), they do much better on comprehension measures than "good" readers who know less about the subject.3

The systematic effort to establish common, knowledge-building content must therefore begin as early as possible. The younger we start, the greater the hope that we can boost achievement across all schools and classrooms, but especially among our most disadvantaged students. Further, by articulating learning progressions linked to a grade-by-grade sequence for how learning should build over time, a defined curriculum will better enable each teacher to build on what students have already been taught. Students will also benefit, as they will be much less likely to find themselves either struggling to overcome gaps in their knowledge or bored by the repetition of what they have already learned.

Some will fear that this is a call for an antiquated vision of schooling, centered on the rote memorization of dry facts or the superficial coverage of hundreds of pieces of inert information. It is not. A crucial feature of the common core standards is that they seek to identify a lean set of concepts and ideas that are central to applying knowledge in each discipline. Dozens of studies have found that greater content knowledge enables better critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, and analysis.4 Thus, the goal of teaching students to "think critically" about any particular subject requires a curriculum that builds knowledge upon knowledge.

Others may fear that grade-level curriculum expectations will discourage teachers from attending to the needs of students who are achieving above or below grade level. Yet, when used by well-prepared teachers as a guide to the learning process, a curriculum sequence will allow teachers to see where each student is along a learning trajectory for the discipline, as well as where students are expected to go and how to help them get there.

Finally, some may fear that common curriculum guidance will neglect important cultural referents or ignore the diversity of student experiences. However, as national curriculum standards in several high-performing nations illustrate, a modern conception of curriculum in a diverse nation is explicitly mindful of how to attend to cultural connections, and how to leave room for local adaptations and resources that enable students to connect to the curriculum from their different vantage points.

In nations with core curriculum standards, such as Finland, Singapore, and South Korea, this systemic approach — coupled with equitable resources and strong teacher training — has resulted in both very high average achievement and a diminishing gap between high- and low-achieving students. These countries have demonstrated that a sequential curriculum in the core subjects from school entry through eighth or ninth grade prepares virtually all students for college or careers — whether in a set of required courses or in electives tailored to students' various interests and postsecondary goals. This kind of support is at least as necessary in the United States, where children tend to change homes and schools more frequently than in other industrialized nations5 — and disadvantaged children, in particular, may change classrooms, schools, districts, and even states at alarmingly high rates.

Student Curriculum to Guide Staff Preparation, Development, and Evaluation

Currently, there are efforts under way to develop assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. But, as the past 30 years of the standards movement has shown, without attention to curriculum, standards are not specific enough to guide the development of valid measures of student progress. Simple logic suggests that it is impossible to assess student learning accurately when there has been no decision about what it is students are expected to learn. In order to create a rational system, we must begin with standards, then adopt curriculum and curriculum materials, and then develop assessments — in that order.

Countries that already enjoy the benefits of a knowledge-rich curriculum are able to design course-related assessments — tying classroom and system-wide evaluations to what students are actually being taught. Rather than waste time prepping for what might be on the test, students and teachers can be confident that mastering the course content will prepare them for what they will be asked to demonstrate and do.

With rich curriculum content, meaningful assessments, and quality teaching resources in place, we would finally be ready to dramatically improve teacher preparation, development, and evaluation. New teachers would enter classrooms having already studied and practiced teaching the curriculum they are to use. Their on -the-job professional development would be based on the curriculum, giving them common ground to work together, observe each other, and share and refine lessons.

And, how much more meaningful and fair could teacher evaluation become once teaching is based on common learning expectations and a common professional understanding of what constitutes excellent instruction?6 If teacher preparation, on-the-job professional development, texts and other instructional materials, and assessments could all be tied to the curriculum, we would have a better foundation for identifying teachers' strengths and weaknesses, for helping them do better, and for telling those who can't improve to find new jobs.

Recommendations

In calling for the development of common curriculum content, we are well aware that this will require a sea change in the way that education in America is structured. We do not believe that it will be easy, but are convinced it is necessary to raise achievement nationally and narrow our disgraceful achievement gaps. Specifically, we call for the following:

1. Developing one or more sets of curriculum guides that map out the core content students need to master the new Common Core State Standards. States could collaborate with each other in the development of their curricula, each could develop its own, or each could adopt an exemplary curriculum developed by an independent organization. Regardless of its origins, each curriculum guide should be coherent and sequenced, and lead to roughly the same store of student knowledge and capabilities by grade 12. Each should approximate what students in other high-performing countries study at comparable ages. And, each should establish a content sequence for teaching that reflects the best of what is known about how students build knowledge upon knowledge, concept upon concept.

2. Involving teachers, content experts, and cognitive scientists — not just curriculum designers by trade — in the development of such curriculum guides. Of these, expert teachers tend to be the most overlooked. But they have special insights into the interaction between content knowledge and the ways students acquire it — including students' most common mistakes and misunderstandings, and the most effective methods to help overcome them.

3. Writing the common core curriculum guides with care and restraint, such that — when taught at a reasonable pace, with reasonable depth—they would account for about 50 to 60 percent of a school's available academic time. Such curricula should allow sufficient time to add important content desired by teachers, the local community, district, or state. For example, some states may want to add state history; individual districts may want to use local resources to expand upon particular art or science topics; a particular teacher may want to incorporate his love of art into English classes; and a particular class of students may want to extend the planned unit on thermodynamics. Teachers will want to tailor instruction to the academic needs, interests, and experiences of students in their classrooms, and will need the curricular space to do so.

4. Including sample lessons, examples of acceptable levels of student work, and assessments that help teachers focus instruction as well as measure student outcomes. We do not, however, recommend that any specific pedagogical approach be adopted for broad-scale use. If the curriculum guide calls for the structure and movement of the solar system to be learned in the fourth grade, then supporting materials may offer ideas for how to teach it. But some teachers may choose to have students spend a week building scale models of the solar system; others may give an engaging lecture followed by a NOVA video; others may integrate the lessons with other concepts (such as the chemical properties of gasses and solids) or disciplines (such as drawing and writing about planetary characteristics).

5. Establishing a nongovernmental quality control body, with a governance structure composed of professionals: teachers, content experts, cognitive scientists, curriculum designers, and assessment authorities. This body could help judge the strengths and weaknesses of particular curricula, as well as the quality and relevance of the textbooks, trade books, software, classroom materials, and assessments developed to support their implementation. Such a body might also sponsor research on the effectiveness of various curricula and approaches in reaching the Common Core State Standards, and oversee periodic revisions (possibly every five years).

6. Creating state teaching quality oversight bodies to work on linking student standards and curriculum guidance to teacher preparation and development, and to ensure that sufficient resources are allotted to these efforts.

7. Increasing federal investments in implementation support, in comparative international studies related to curriculum and instruction, and in evaluations aimed at finding the most effective curriculum sequences, curriculum materials, curricular designs, and instructional strategies.

Original Signatories*

Pedro Noguera
Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University

Thomas Payzant
Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Former Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

Stephanie Powers
Former Director, National School-to-Work Office, U.S. Departments of Labor and Education

Wendy Puriefoy
President, Public Education Network

Stephen W. Raudenbush
Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Sociology, and Chair, Committee on Education, University of Chicago

Richard W. Riley
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Barak Rosenshine
Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

William Scheuerman
Professor, Political Science, State University of New York, Oswego; Former President, United University Professions

William Schmidt
University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University

Mike Schmoker
Education Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Robert Schwartz
Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration Academic Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Diana Senechal
Writer and Teacher

Donna E. Shalala
President of the University of Miami; Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Marshall (Mike) Smith
Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Former Under Secretary of Education; Former Senior Counselor to Secretary Duncan

James W. Stigler
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

Philip Uri Treisman
Director, Charles A. Dana Center; Professor, Mathematics and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

Marc S. Tucker
President, National Center on Education and the Economy

Michael D. Usdan
Senior Fellow, Institute for Educational Leadership

Kate Walsh
President, National Council on Teacher Quality

Randi Weingarten
President, American Federation of Teachers

Ross Wiener
Executive Director, Education & Society Program The Aspen Institute

Amy Wilkins
Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications, Education Trust

Suzanne M. Wilson
University Distinguished Professor; Chair, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

William Julius Wilson
Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

Deborah Wince-Smith
President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness

Hung-Hsi Wu
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

 

 

Marilyn Jager Adams
Research Professor, Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Department, Brown University

Clifford Adelman
Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy; Former Senior Research Analyst, U.S. Department of Education

Paul E. Almeida
President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

Andrés A. Alonso
Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools

Richard A. Askey
Emeritus Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Norman Augustine
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Deborah Loewenberg Ball
Dean, William H. Payne Collegiate Professor, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan

Paul Barton
Education Writer and Consultant; Former Director of the ETS Policy Information Center

Linda Bevilacqua
President, Core Knowledge Foundation

Barbara T. Bowman
Chief Officer, Office of Early Childhood Education, Chicago Public Schools

Mary Brabeck
Dean, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Barbara Byrd-Bennett
Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor, Detroit Public Schools

Karin Chenoweth
Author, How It’s Being Done: Urgent Lessons from Unexpected Schools

David K. Cohen
John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education, University of Michigan

James P. Comer, M.D.
Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center, Associate Dean, Yale School of Medicine

Antonia Cortese
Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers

Linda Darling-Hammond
Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University

Thomas Donahue
Chairman, Committee for Free Trade Unionism; President Emeritus, AFL-CIO

Bob Edwards
Host, Sirius XM Radio; National First Vice President, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

M. Joycelyn Elders, MD
15th U.S. Surgeon General

Michael B. Fabricant
Executive Officer, PhD Program in Social Welfare, Hunter College, City University of New York; Treasurer, Professional Staff Congress

Representative Chaka Fattah
U.S. House of Representatives, PA

Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Susan Fuhrman
President, Teachers College; President, National Academy of Education

Curtis Gans
Director, Center for the Study of the American Electorate

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Former CEO of IBM; Chairman, The Teaching Commission

Bernard R. Gifford
Professor, Division of Education in Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; Former Deputy Chancellor, New York City Board of Education

Milton Goldberg
Former Executive Director, National Commission on Excellence in Education, Issued A Nation at Risk

Ernest Green
Co-Chairman, Madison Global Group LLC

Joy Hakim
Author, A History of US, Oxford University Press; The Story of Science, Smithsonian Books with the NSTA; and “Freedom: A History of US,” Public Broadcasting Service

Beverly L. Hall
Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools

Kati Haycock
President, Education Trust

E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
Founder and Chairman, Core Knowledge Foundation

J.D. Hoye
President, National Academy Foundation

Sol Hurwitz
President Emeritus, Committee for Economic Development

Clifford Janey
Former Superintendent, Newark, NJ, Washington, DC, and Rochester, NY

Christopher Jencks
Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Lorretta Johnson
Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers

Susan Moore Johnson
Jerome T. Murphy Professor in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Richard D. Kahlenberg
Senior Fellow, Century Foundation

Thomas H. Kean
Chairman, THK Consulting; Former Governor of New Jersey

Mary M. Kennedy
Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

Ted Kirsch
President, AFT Pennsylvania; Vice President, American Federation of Teachers

Charles E. M. Kolb
President, Committee for Economic Development

Julia Koppich
President, J. Koppich and Associates

Michael H. Levine
Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop

Stanley S. Litow
Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM; President, IBM International Foundation

Michael Maccoby
President, Maccoby Group

Gene Maeroff
Author, School Boards in America

Herb Magidson
Former Vice President, American Federation of Teachers

Ray Marshall
Professor Emeritus, Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

Edward McElroy
President Emeritus, American Federation of Teachers

Daniel J. Montgonery
President, Illinois Federation of Teachers>/p>

Fritz Mosher
Education Research Consultant, Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Susan B. Neuman
Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan; Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education



Additional Signatories**

Richard Parker
School Board Chairman, South Whidbey School District

David K. Patterson
Teacher, New York City Department of Education

Rhonda Peckman, M.S.ed
Guidance Counselor, NYC Department of Education

Emily Peterson
LMS, East Moriches, UFSD

Peter Petto
Math Teacher, Lakewood High School

Joan M. Podleski
Parent

Morgan Polikoff
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Southern California

George D. Poole
Professor of Mathematics, East Tennessee University

Robert Pondiscio
Core Knowledge Foundation

Dawn Porter
Classroom Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

Alma J. Powell
Chair, America's Promise Alliance

Cheryl Pulliam
Director, Public Education Research Institute at Queens, Queens University of Charlotte

Andrai Radulescu-Banu
Software Architect, EXFO

Sherry Reed
K-12 Curriculum Coordinator, Auburn-Washburn Unified School District 437

Linda Rich
Teacher/Adjunt Professor, Lake Forest High School. Roosevelt University, Northeastern Illinois University

Joan Richardson
Editor-in-Chief, Phil Delta Kappan

Deanna Risucci
ESL Teacher, Donovan Middle School

William Rodick
English Teacher/Curriculum Chair, Escola Americana de Belo Horizonte

Ferdinand Rodriguez-Vega
Biligual Special Education Teacher, Rhode Island English Language Learners Coalition

Philip D. Ronchetti
CEO, 3RPlus Corporation

Kathleen Rowe
Adjunct Lecturer, Queensborough Community College

Susan D. Sansone
Special Education Teacher, WI Heights School District

David A. Sawtelle
District Secondary Mathematics Specialist, Colorado Springs School District 11

Steven Schafersman
Consulting Scientist; Former Earth and Environmental Science Professor, Texas Citizes for Science

Kurt A. Schmidt
Director of Bands, Rio Rancho High School

Tyler Sellhorn
Title I Math Internventionist, Fort Wayne Community Schools

Alana Smith
Student, College of Charleston

Bruce William Smith
Founder, One World Secondard School

Janie Ray Smith
Educational Consultant, Educational Design and Training, Inc.

Searetha Smith-Collins
Senior Educational Consultant, Sea-S Consultants

Harvey Sperling
Educational Consultant, Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach; Former Headmaster, University School of Milwaukee

Mary Stamos
High School Math Teacher, Glens Falls High School

Tara Stevens
Teacher, Bishop Woods School

Ann Sutherland, Ph.D.
Trustee, Disctrict 6, Fort Worth Independent School Board

William Tait
Information Technology/Senior Systems Analyst, CVESD

Michael E. Taylor
Campus Librarian, Herzing University

Vernon S. Tenney III
Assistant Principal, Canandaigua Academy

Cassandra Turner
Singapore Math Consultant

Barbara Tutino
Social Studies Teacher, William Cullen Bryant HS

Danielle Tweedy
Administrator of Special Education Instruction, New York City Department of Education

Phyllis Walt
Education Liaison, MassBay Community College

Carlos Webster, MBA, ECES
President, BKB Enterprises, NA

Kenna Welch
Elementary Educator, CPS

Karen T. Weil
Retiree

Dr. Stephen Wellons
Chemisty, Calculus, Science Teacher, George Washington High School

Susan Perkins Weston
Kentucky Education Consultant

Harry A. White
Science Educator-Department Chairperson, Chicago Board of Education

Jane A. White
Speech-Language Pathologist, Remsen Central School

Scott Widmeyer
Chairman and CEO, Widmeyer Communications

Grant Wiggins
Researcher/Writer, Authentic Education

Bo Wilkes
Mathematics Teacher, Eanes Independent School District

Donald Williams
Retired Science Teacher, Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools

Jan Winter
Executive Director, FIT4FUN Kentucky Children's Health and Fitness Fund

Bill Younglove
Instructor-Teacher-Supervisor-Career Teacher, California State University, Long Beach

Alan Yount
Sixth-Grade Humanities Teacher, School of the Future, New York City Public School

George Zeliger
Parent, Statistician, Mathematician and Environmental Engineer;Advisor, Mass. Curriculum Frameworks

Francis L. Zitko
Retiree

Allison Zmuda
Education Consultant, The Competent Classroom

Elizabeth P. Abernathy
Science Teacher

Dawn Adams
Math Department Chair, St. Paul's School for Girls

Anthi Alifieris
Teacher

Jennifer Anders
Special Education Teacher, Philadelphia School District

Mark Anderson
Special Education Teacher, NYC Department of Education

Linda Andrade Aragon
Kindergarten Teacher, Santa Cruz City Schools, CA

Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rhode Island College

Dennis Ashendorf
Online Facilitator/Math Teacher, Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Vinny Badolato
Vice President of Public Affairs, Colorado League of Charter Schools

Jomeline Balatayo
Graduate Student, UC Santa Barbara

Phyllis Ballata
English Professor, Century College; author, "Living As Though There Is A Tomorrow"

Jack Beers
Senior Vice President, Math and Sciences, Curriculum Concepts International

Laura Bedinger
Doctoral Candidate, University of South Florida

Patience Meliora Blythe
Science Teacher, Austin Independent School District

Patty Bonesteel
Senior Lecturer, Wayne State University

Dina Borysenko>
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Alverno College

David Bressoud
DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College; Past-President, Math Association of America

Frank Broadbent, Sr.
Professor Emeritus, Syracuse University

David Brown M.S. Ed.
Elementary ESL Teacher, Philadelphia Public School

Marie L. Brown
President and Chief Academic Officer, Six Red Marbles

Sandra Brunet
Teacher, SUSD

Joanne Bullaro
Teacher, PS 100K, Brooklyn, NY

Kathy Bumgardner
National Literacy Consultant, Strategies Unlimited, Inc

Stuart Carroll
Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey

Francis A. Champine
Retired Teacher and Senior Consultant, Authentic Education

Kara Colley
Math Instructor, PCC

Christiane Connors
Researcher, Center for Equity and Excellence in Education

Dr. Mary Cooksley
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Oskaloosa Community School District

Vicki Cobb
President, Ink Think Tank, LLC

Rick CobbDirector of Curriculum, Moore Public Schools

Steven Cobb
Principal, Aspire Preparatory Middle School, New York

Brett Crider
Teacher, Moreno Valley Unified School District

Jenny Cyr
Teacher, PVUSD

Megan D'Onofrio
Teacher

William Damon
Professor of Education, Stanford University

Elizabeth Dalton
Assistant Professor, Rhode Island College

Jelbin DelaCruz
Senior Educational Consultant, Teachgmatters, Inc

L. Mark dePaulo
English Teacher, Gretna High School

Derek Doeschner
Teacher, New York City Board of Education

Mary F. Donnelly
Retired Librarian

A. Graham Down
President Emeritus, Council for Basic Education

Erin Duffy
Teacher, PS 100

Don Duggan-Haas
Education Research Associate, The Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth

Richard Ebright
Professor, Rutgers University

AnneMarie Ehler
Instructional Coach, Readington Township Public Schools

Ramonda Trudie Ehrhardt
School Improvement Specialist, JP Associates

Mark Engel
Data Warehouse Analyst

Janie Feinberg
President, JP Associates, Inc.

Joshua D. Fisher
Mathematic Editor, Carnegie Learning

Hadassah Lynn Foster
Writer, University of Southern California

Kristine Fowler
Teacher, Berkeley Unified School District

Karen Gates
Researcher & Author

Catherine A. Gibbs
English Teacher, White County Middle School

Karyn A. Gloden
K-12 Literacy Coordinator, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Julie Greenberg
Senior Policy Analyst, National Council on Teacher Quality

Randall Gust
Librarian, East Los Angeles College Library

Anthony James Guzzaldo
Teacher, Hinckley-Big Rock High School

Patricia Hall
Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

Philip Halperin
Partner, California Education Partners

Donald C. Harrison, MD
Senior Vice President and Provost for Health Affairs Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

Heidi Harrison
Student, Master of Arts in Teaching, USC Rossier School of Education

Brooke Haycock
Artist-in-Residence, The Education Trust

Carol Hayman
Professor, Austin Community College

Sandra Hays
Teacher and Writer, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Henry W. Heikkinen
Professor Emeritus, University of Northern Colorado

Renee Mishey Hoard
Mathematics Teacher, Lumpkin County High School

David Hobby
Professor, SUNY at New Paltz

Jennifer Houser
Teacher, Lincoln Charter School

Annabelle Howard
CEO, Big Fun Productions

Alicia Hudak
ELA Teacher, Marlboro Middle School

Deborah Irwin
Instructional Strategist, Horizon Middle School

Robert L. Jackson
Associate Professor of English and Education, The King's Collge

Diane Johnson
P-12 Math Science Outreach Unit, University of Kentucky

Franklin P. Johnson, Jr.
Founder, Asset Management Company

Andrew Josey
Student, College of Charleston

Julie Joslin
English Language Arts Section Leader, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Dr. William A. Kaplan
Retired Science Teacher, Brooklyn Technical High School; Former Managing Editor, Modern Plastics Encyclopedia, Senior Projects Edition, MacMillan McGraw-Hill;

Nikk Katzman
Instructor

Wally Katolik
Mathematics Teacher, Artistotle Achievement Academy

Greg Kelahan
Superintendent, Oriskany Central Schools

Everett Kline
Director, Understanding 4

Ruth E. Knight
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Valdez City School District, Valdez, Alaska

Lloyd J. Kolbe, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Applied Health Science, Indiana University; Former Founding Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health

Susan Krech
ESL Teacher, Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative

Adam D. Kinor
Teacher, The School of the Future

Mandy Kwan
Teacher

Ellen Condliffe LagemannLevy Institute Research Professor, Bard College

Joanne M. LaRivee
Curriculum Coach, Lawrence Public Schools

Natasha Levinson
Associate Professor, Kent State University

Ann Lenzini
Teacher, Glasgow

Kim Client Long
Educational Consultant, Early Childhood Public Policy adn Advocacy

Stella Lowder
Teacher, New York City Public Schools

Patricia Maley
Director, CareerTEC

Michael Maltenfort
Associate Professor, Truman College

Gerald K. Masters
Instructor, Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES

Shawn Meagher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University

Ezekiel Mokete Masoeu
CEO, ME Masoeu Metal Engineering

Tim McAnulty
Parent and Educator

Tim McDaniel
ESL Instructor, Green River Community College

Thomas F. McDonnellHistory Teacher, Walpole Public Schools (MA)

Bernard H. McInerney
President, IBAMM

John McLoughlin
Assistant Provost for Academic & Career Planning, Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus

Nicholas M. Michelli
Presidential Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dr. Barbara Milewski
Associate Professor of Music, Swarthmore College

Donald R. Mitchell
Director, Advanced Placement Incentive Program, San Diego Unified School District (retired)

Todd Mitchell
Teacher, Williamsville Central School District

Ronna Morrison
Certified Educational Planner

Dr. Gayle Nelson
Special Education/Science Teacher, Franklin Township Public Schools

Laura Nelson
Superintendent, Amboy CUSD #272

Steve Newman
Professor of Mathematics, Northern Kentucky University

Nigel Nisbet
Director of Content Creation, MIND Research Institute

Linda M. Noonan
Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

Sara Normington
President, Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics

Glenn Nyre
Professor of Sociology, Nyre and Associates, LLC

Phillip A. Ortiz
Chairperson, Committee for Diversity and Cultural Competence, State University of New York, University Faculty Senate

Tracy O'Shea
Third grade teacher, San Leandro Unified School District

Tetyana Ovsienko
ESL Teacher, Dunlap CUSD, No. 323



*Signatories are being added daily. Titles and organizations of all signatories appear for identification purposes only.
**Additional signatories after March 7, 2011 release.

Endnotes

Endnotes

1. Rachel E. Durham, George Farkas, Carol Scheffner Hammer, J. Bruce Tomblin, and Hugh W. Catts, “Kindergarten Oral Language Skill: A Key Variable in the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status,” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 25, no. 4 (2007): 294–305; David Grissmer, Kevin J. Grimm, Sophie M. Aiyer, William M. Murrah, and Joel S. Steele, “Fine Motor Skills and Early Comprehension of the World: Two New School Readiness Indicators,” Developmental Psychology 46, no. 5 (2010): 1008–1017, http://128.143.21.143/temp/grissmer_motorskills.doc; and Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children (Baltimore: Brookes Publishing, 1995).

2. For a fuller explanation of why this is so, see E. D. Hirsch, Jr., The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006).

3. Donna R. Recht and Lauren Leslie, “Effect of Prior Knowledge on Good and Poor Readers’ Memory of Text,” Journal of Educational Psychology 80, no. 1 (1988): 16–20.

4. Marilyn Jager Adams, “The Challenge of Advanced Texts: The Interdependence of Reading and Learning,” in Reading More, Reading Better: Are American Students Reading Enough of the Right Stuff?, ed. Elfrieda H. Hiebert (New York: Guilford, 2009), http://www.childrenofthecode.org/library/MJA-ChallengeofAdvancedTexts.pdf .

5. General Accounting Office, Elementary School Children: Many Change Schools Frequently, Harming Their Education (Washington, DC: GAO, 1994); and Larry Long, “International Perspectives on the Residential Mobility of America’s Children,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54, no. 4 (1992): 861–869.

6. For more on this, see David K. Cohen, “Teacher Quality: An American Educational Dilemma,” in Teacher Assessment and the Quest for Teacher Quality: A Handbook, ed. Mary Kennedy (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010).