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MPS spotlights early literacy with new curricula

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MPS spotlights early literacy with new curricula
 
MINNEAPOLIS – For the first time in nearly a decade, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will have Pre-K–5 standards-based literacy curricula. Tonight, the Minneapolis Board of Education approved adopting Houghton-Mifflin curriculum for pre-kindergarten students and Benchmark Education Company curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade students. 
 
The new curricula will be in all elementary classrooms when students return to school in August and will be supported by significant educator training. District Superintendent Ed Graff said he believes students will become productive, inspired and literate global citizens through the development of effective reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
 
“This is an important turning point in our push to accelerate achievement and increase equitable outcomes for our students,” said Superintendent Graff. “Literacy is the foundation for all subjects and a critical life skill. While these evidence-based curricula are not the be-all-end-all, they will give our teachers great tools they can use to make an impact on students’ learning.”
 
The curricula adoption comes after a months-long, competitive selection process that included significant community outreach and input, extensive review by experts and educators and field testing in 12 Pre-K–5/Pre-K–8 pilot schools. Administrators made the decisions based on literacy best practices, community input and evaluations of pilot materials. 
 
Central to the selection process was a commitment to find culturally relevant and responsive materials for students. As a district, MPS believes it is important for students to see themselves reflected in their learning. In addition, the new core literacy adoption needed to focus on the “Big Five” of literacy acquisition — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension.
 
Learn more about the new curriculum, as well as the extensive review process and curriculum vendors, at www.mpls.k12.mn.us/literacy_curriculum_adoption_process.html.
 
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