Readers of this blog know that I feel strongly about teaching actual content in our K12 classrooms. I am biased in that I have become more of a nerd as each year passes (I enjoy thumbing through the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy from time to time).
The Core Knowledge Foundation has been evangelizing about the power of curriculum for years. Most people do not hear them though. One of their recent blog posts expresses some frustration therein noting how this issue is not sexy and does not play toward soundbites and cyber jousting. This post also points toward a long post/whitepaper? detailing the power of curriculum.
I am breaking one of my own rules by not actually reading the entire post before writing. I make an exception because the author is Russ Whitehurst whose reputation and past work I trust from the Institute of Education Sciences.
Robert brings it all together nicely with this paragraph:
It could takes years — lifetimes, even — before we have a “great teacher” (by whatever definition you favor) in every classroom. But a strong curriculum might mitigate some of the worst effects of subpar teaching, it would have little cost and you can put it in place today.
There is a good discussion in the comments regarding actually implementing curricula effectively.