Core Knowledge

James Irwin Charter Schools uses the Core Knowledge sequence which is an organized course outline of topics to be studied by students in kindergarten through 8th grades. This sequence includes but is not limited to topics and subtopics in language arts, world history, American history, geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science.

The Core Knowledge approach puts knowledge at the heart of schooling.

Our society cannot afford a two-tiered system in which the affluent have access to a superior education, while everyone else is subjected to a dull and incoherent classroom experience. Academic excellence, educational equity and fairness demands a strong foundation of knowledge for all learners.

Specific and Sequenced

Most curriculum standards provide general goals and objectives but offer teachers little guidance about the specific knowledge students should learn in each grade.  In contrast, the Core Knowledge approach is to specify, in a clear grade-by-grade sequence, what students need to know.

Excellence and Equity in Education

The mission of the Core Knowledge Foundation is to advance excellence and equity in education for all children.

To achieve this mission, we offer detailed curricular guidance and materials to schools, teachers, parents, and policy makers—to anyone who believes, as we do, that every child in a diverse democracy deserves access to enabling knowledge.

By providing open access to an exemplary curriculum for preschool through eighth grade, we endeavor to:

  • create literate citizens able to contribute to a democratic society
  • empower each child to achieve his or her greatest academic potential
  • shrink the excellence gap between the academic achievement of American students and that of their international peers from high-performing countries
  • shrink the fairness gap between the academic achievement of American students living in poverty and that of their economically advantaged peers.

Starting Early

It’s important to begin building strong foundations of knowledge in the early years.  The Core Knowledge approach focuses on preschool through grade eight. In these early years, especially the preschool and elementary grades, schools can do the most to help children lay the groundwork for language development and future success.

This content came directly from

To learn more about Core Knowledge, visit their website at