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Fordham Institute

Pondiscio on Curriculum Costs

In a recent post on the Fordham Institute's Flypaper blog, Robert Pondiscio has (what is hopefully) the final word on the value of curriculum reform.
Every opportunity for schools getting more bang for their curricular buck is a function of choosing the right product, not finding a better price. But for these cost-neutral benefits to accrue, we have to start taking curriculum seriously as a reform lever—at least as seriously as teacher quality, chartering, and other pet reform ideas, none of which have the demonstrated upside of simply choosing curriculum wisely and implementing it well. Education reformers need to get over their blithe indifference on this issue. Some leading-edge reform outfits like KIPP and Achievement First have been quietly coming around, and Common Core itself is predicated on smart curricular choices. But more is needed to usher in an age of enlightenment. Of course teacher quality matters. It will matter even more when teachers are using materials of proven quality. What have we got to lose?

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