Put learning in high gear

Coherence accelerates literacy curriculum goals

By Learning Forward
June 2019
Vol. 40, No. 3
In 2016, the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina, the nation’s 15th-largest school district, confronted two dilemmas common in U.S. education. First, a quality review had revealed weaknesses in its literacy curriculum. Although curriculum can have profound effects on student learning, not all curricula are rigorous and engaging (Steiner, 2017). Second, Wake struggled with professional learning for new literacy standards and practice shifts. Research has found that teaching expertise is the most important factor in school effectiveness, but few teachers believe their professional learning is effective (Wiener & Pimentel, 2017; TNTP, 2015). To address these difficulties, Wake adopted EL Education’s open-source 3-8 language arts instructional model. This model integrates a standards-aligned curriculum aimed at challenging, engaging, and empowering students with paced assessments, detailed

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Jeremy Avins, Nathan Huttner, and Sherrill C. Miller

Jeremy Avins ( is an associate principal and Nathan Huttner ( is a director and the chief operating officer at Redstone Strategy Group. Sherrill C. Miller ( is director of literacy, K-12, for Wake County Public School System.


Brown, F. (2019). How systems can support high-quality curricula [Blog post]. Available at

Choi, J., Richman, S., & Dolfin, S. (2018). Sustaining effective teacher practice. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research.

Krajcik, J. & Delen, I. (2017). The benefits and limitations of educative curriculum materials. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 28(1), 1-10.

Kramer, P. (2015). Meet East Ramapo’s new schools chief, Deborah Wortham. The Journal News. Available at

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). 2015-16 Public School District Directory. Available at

Steiner, D. (2017). Curriculum research: What we know and where we need to go. Washington, DC: StandardsWork.

Taylor, K. (2015). Team from New York Education Department to study troubled East Ramapo Schools. The New York Times. Available at

TNTP. (2015). The Mirage. New York, NY: Author.

Wake County Public School System. (2018). District facts. Available at

Wiener, R. & Pimentel, S. (2017). Practice what you teach. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute.

+ posts

Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

The Learning Professional

Published Date


Recent Issues

August 2020

Technology constantly creates new opportunities for pro..

June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed school as we know it...

April 2020

Learning professionals challenge themselves to stretch ..

February 2020

Student needs are at the center of strong professional ..