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NY City Dept of Education Recommends Expeditionary Learning’s Common Core ELA & Literacy Curriculum for Grades 3-8

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    Lauren Parent

Expeditionary Learning identified as top choice nationally for Common Core-aligned instruction and teacher professional development

(New York, NY, Feb 28, 2013) – The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) today named Expeditionary Learning’s (EL) English Language Arts and Literacy Curricula as a preferred curricula for selection by principals across the City in Grades 3-8. The Department of Education announced, “that the selected programs represent the highest-quality Common Core-aligned curriculum materials currently available. They include brand new curriculum materials that are being updated to fully reflect the shifts required by the Common Core standards.”

“We are both honored and excited to join the ranks of the nation’s top curriculum developers,” said Scott Hartl, President and CEO of Expeditionary Learning.  “This is not about curriculum alone, however. Our curriculum has been built by and for teachers, and while explicit to the lesson plan level, we help to coach teachers to get to the “what” and the “how” of the Common Core standards through best practices that fully engage students,” Hartl added. The organization is actively looking to partner with districts and schools ready to implement the Common Core.

EL was chosen as one of two curriculum products recommended for Grades 3-5, and also as one of two for use in Grades 6-8. For schools that implement these curriculum materials, EL will also provide professional development. For EL’s 3-5 curriculum details, visit: http://elschools.org/model-curricula; or EL’s professional development details for the Common Core, visit: http://elschools.org/Common-Core-Success. EL developed the grades 6-8 ELA and literacy curriculum on behalf of the Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG).  

The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations designed to ensure that all students achieve college and career readiness. Forty-six states have now adopted these shared standards so their students can compete and succeed on a world stage. The Common Core State Standards widen the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 educational career. This in turn requires instructional changes, or “shifts”, at all grade levels, among them: building content knowledge through content-rich nonfiction; reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text; and regular practice with complex text and its academic language.

Curriculum Linked to Professional Development

EL’s curriculum, created in collaboration with the New York State Education Department, combines high quality, rigorous, standard-aligned content with effective instructional practice, bringing together the “what” and the “how” of the Common Core standards. Teachers who use these materials are not only ensured that they are addressing the standards, they are also being coached to address the standards in best practices ways that engage students. EL professional development engages teachers in the same deep reading, thinking, and writing that they will expect of their students in return, immersing educators in experiences that engage them with the topics they will ultimately teach to their students and provides materials such as videos and toolkits for ongoing learning.

The curriculum is built on rich and compelling topics that are supported by great books and worthy informational texts. Daily lessons are written at a level of detail that helps teachers envision and implement key instructional routines, such as scaffolding students toward high quality writing, or conferring with students to push them to cite evidence from text. It was designed to be used either as an exemplar of Common Core-aligned instruction for veteran teachers as they develop their own lessons, or as explicit modeling for teachers who need more support.

About Expeditionary Learning (EL)
EL partners with school districts to open new schools and transform existing schools at all levels, pre-K–12, and in all settings-urban, rural, and suburban. The EL school model challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities, resulting in higher achievement and greater engagement in schools. EL has 20 years of experience developing the capacity of new and veteran teachers to strive for the expanded definition of student success - a vision that combines rigorous academics with critical higher order thinking skills - laid out by the Common Core State Standards. The EL network includes more than 160 schools, 4,000 teachers, and 45,000 students. For more info, visit www.elschools.org