Boulder Valley School District

Excellence Through Equity Projects

Knowledge Map

Why is this important?

"The achievement gap is in large part a knowledge gap."

As explained by Johns Hopkins School of Education's Institute for Education Policy, "research shows that students’ reading levels – especially from fifth grade onwards – are linked to their background knowledge about specific subjects. More affluent students succeed on skills-based English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, not because they are better at “finding the main idea,” but because they are far more likely to know more about the subject matter discussed. International research shows the same: most democracies around the world require schools to teach a common body of knowledge and a comprehensive, content-rich curriculum. To put it simply, knowledge matters, and research compels us to focus on addressing the “knowledge gap” if we want to close persistent achievement gaps among American students."

Project Description

Working with John Hopkins School of Education, we will utilize their Knowledge Map to analyze BVSD's ELA curriculum "to determine the knowledge it offers students about the world and human condition" -- in an effort to provide district leaders with "compelling, actionable data used to adopt or amend classroom materials."

Actions Taken/Timeline

Expected to begin Fall 2020.