A new, uniform "core curriculum" is being put in place by the School District at all Philadelphia schools. Last year, reading and math instruction in grades K-9 was standardized. This fall, a uniform curriculum was introduced in high school English, math, science, and social studies. While many have welcomed the new materials and the consistency, others are criticizing the effects of standardization.
During the third week of September, every fifth-grade student in the School District of Philadelphia reads part of a story called The Hot and Cold Summer and reviews "declarative sentences." The next week, students read a section of Sees Behind Trees and learn about "exclamatory sentences."
This districtwide uniformity is the result of Philadelphia's new standardized "core curriculum," a multimillion-dollar package of new books, materials, assessments, and professional development aimed at improving students' academic achievement.