A Kindergarten Lottery Evaluation of Core Knowledge Charter Schools: Should Building General Knowledge Have a Central Role in Educational and Social Science Research and Policy?
The Core Knowledge curriculum is a K-8 curriculum focused on building students General Knowledge about the world they live in that is hypothesized to increase reading comprehension and Reading/English-LA achievement. This is the first study to utilize an experimental design to evaluate the long term effects of using the K-8 Core Knowledge curriculum. In the study, more than 2,000 students reading from this content-rich, knowledge-building curriculum for at least four years, beginning in kindergarten, significantly outperformed their peers on standardized reading comprehension tests. Students from low-income families made such dramatic gains that their performance on state tests equaled that of children from higher-income families. The cumulative (K-6) long-term effect for all students was approximately 16 percentile points.