In this website, we cover the role school curriculum plays in New York City from variety of perspectives. Although the word “curriculum” is widely used in various realms, we often misunderstand what it really refers to.

According to The Glossary of Education Reform, school curriculum signifies “the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program.” Although there is variation within who creates the curricula of each school, district, and state, all curriculum generally includes key components such as learning objectives, lessons, assessment, and materials. School curriculum encompasses the whole timeline of students’ learning process; it does not only include the content of the subject, but also the ways students are being assessed.

In NYC, most of the public schools refer to New York State Next Generation Learning Standards, which entails detailed timeline and lesson plans for subjects like English, Mathematics, and Science. It is also common that teachers develop their own curriculum that reflect general learning expectations presented by Department of Education (DOE), but some schools may purchase curriculum pre-designed by private institutions.

This means that often, schools and teachers have agency to decide the content and delivery of each coursework. Therefore, there is space for NYC schools to improve learning experience and outcomes of students by carefully curating their curriculum.

In our Op-Eds, we hope to challenge NYC’s current curriculum standards by suggesting what DOE should consider including, expanding, and changing.