What do home buyers want?
Children choosing books

E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Sequence by grade
What works can verbally talented middle school students read? Hunter
..College High School

Massachusetts State ELA Standards

Core Knowledge Assigned Reading for Grade 1
Core Knowledge Assigned Reading and Topics of Study for Grade 8

What do homebuyers want?

In school year 2011-2012 7th grade students in I.M.S. read just two shared (whole-class) novels:
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (reading level: Grade 5.1)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (reading level: Grad 5.9)

Everything else they read was a matter of individual choice, subject only to the constraints of the “leveled libraries” their classrooms contain. In Irvington Middle School, students, not teachers or literary scholars, choose the books they will read for English class.

The table below is a partial list of books Irvington 7th graders chose to read during the fall of 2011, provided by IMS principal David Sottile. By March, students were on track to read approximately 25 books apiece in total during the school year, all but 2 of their own choosing.

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UPDATE 11/23/2013: Our curriculum director says students were guided to choose these books.

The 7th grade Core Knowledge English curriculum appears below. The works listed are assigned reading; all students read, discuss, study, and write about each work in the curriculum.

Core Knowledge: 7th Grade English Reading List

The works listed below are assigned reading. All students read, discuss, study, and write about each work in the curriculum.

UPDATE: The Core Knowledge curriculum is a Common Core curriculum. E.D. Hirsch is a strong supporter of the Common Core standards.

AND SEE: What do home buyers want?

NOTE: The Core Knowledge “scope and sequence” is free. As of this writing, February 2014, IUFSD does not have a scope and sequence in any subject, as reported by the administration during a fall 2013 BOE meeting. Yet our administration has expressed no interest in the superb, already-existing, “Common-Core compliant” scope and sequence created by the Core Knowledge Foundation and donated to the public free of charge.

Our administration prefers having no scope and sequence at all to adopting a content-rich scope and sequence focused on the foundational knowledge and literary works of a discipline-based public education.

That is a shame for the children, and a shame for the home owners, too.

If Irvington were to adopt Core Knowledge, at a cost close to zero, we would become the first district in Westchester County to offer children a private school curriculum in a public school setting.

The Core Knowledge sequence is a classic, college-preparatory K-12 course of study. It has been vetted by disciplinary specialists, and it meets — and exceeds — Common Core standards.

In the world of education, Irvington’s adoption of Core Knowledge would be headline news. The district would be on the front page of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and property values would be supported or increased. There isn’t a single public school in all of Westchester County offering the curriculum detailed below (or anything close), and a Core Knowledge-type curriculum is what many educated parents want.

More importantly, a Core Knowledge-type curriculum is what many parents believe they are getting when they move to affluent suburban school districts.

Irvington school district parents have complained about the quality of the ELA curriculum for many years now.

Core Knowledge — or a Core Knowledge-type curriculum that has been vetted by disciplinary specialists — is the answer.

Core Knowledge Foundation
Core Knowledge Curriculum (pdf file)
Biblical Literacy – Core Knowledge Foundation

(Click on the screen shots to enlarge.)