In his new book, “Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories” (Harvard Education Press, 2016), Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. discusses the need for a common base of knowledge in K-12 school curriculum, in order to ensure equal opportunities for students of all backgrounds. He suggests that when standardized tests measure skills rather than content, they hinder students from disadvantaged backgrounds. How can knowledge-based curriculum be integrated into K-12 schooling? What are other ways to equalize educational experiences across various demographics?
On October 19, the Brown Center on Education Policy hosted a conversation about Hirsch’s new book as part of the long-running Governing Ideas book series. A panel of experts discussed the evidence on critical education issues such as the Common Core state standards, test alignment, and reducing achievement gaps across racial, ethnic, and income lines.