Award-Winning Educator Is Inaugural Core Knowledge Fellow; Valarie Lewis Showed How a Content-Rich Curriculum Equalizes Opportunity to Learn

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The Core Knowledge Foundation is thrilled to welcome award-winning educator Valarie Lewis as its inaugural fellow.

The Core Knowledge Foundation is thrilled to welcome award-winning educator Valarie Lewis as its inaugural fellow. Lewis just retired as principal of PS 124 in Queens, where 93% of students qualify for free lunch.

With the Comprehensive School Reform grant she won in 1999, Lewis immersed students in a rigorous curriculum based on the Core Knowledge Sequence (http://www.coreknowledge.org/download-the-sequence). While pedagogical fads swept in and out of New York City, Lewis steadily built supports for student success, including increasing teacher collaboration, reallocating resources to extend learning after school and on Saturdays, and building a culture in which academic writing is celebrated.

Lewis knows that everyone can improve every day. As she says, “If you think you’ve arrived, it’s time to leave.”

In 2007, PS 124 was honored by the Education Trust with a Dispelling the Myth award. Lewis showed that low-income students can be high achieving.

As the inaugural Core Knowledge Fellow, Lewis is writing and giving presentations about increasing equality of opportunity by giving all students a rigorous education. She is available for interviews on preschool–eighth grade curriculum, supporting students, extended learning time, high expectations, academic writing as the key indicator of learning, teacher professional development, and equalizing opportunity to learn.

Lewis will also be the advisor for Core Knowledge’s new initiative: partnering with a district (or coalition of schools) to meet the Common Core State Standards’ call for a “content-rich curriculum”—without wasting any time on test prep. A well-rounded education is the only meaningful path to high scores. Learn more at http://blog.coreknowledge.org/2015/01/15/for-equity-for-kids-for-democracy-lets-create-a-model-district-with-a-well-rounded-curriculum/.

About Core Knowledge
The Core Knowledge Foundation’s mission is to ensure that all children in the US—particularly those in greatest need—have equal opportunities to learn the specific knowledge and skills that are essential to literacy. We seek to build understanding of how a coherent, cumulative, knowledge-rich approach to curriculum will lead to a more just society, and we provide high-quality instructional materials and professional development that exemplify this approach. Learn more at http://www.coreknowledge.org.

Please contact Lisa Hansel at lhansel(at)coreknowledge(dot)org or (301) 526-4497 for more information.

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Lisa Hansel
Core Knowledge Foundation
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