Season 6, Episode 7

The how and why behind high-quality instructional materials with Rebecca Kockler

As the former chief academic officer at the Louisiana Department of Education, Rebecca Kockler made it her mission to empower districts to select higher quality materials. This involved a thorough and rigorous curriculum review, and allowing teachers to choose the program they wanted once they knew exactly what they were getting. This work built Kockler’s case for focusing on quality curricula as a vital part of student success. Using Kockler’s work in Louisiana as a case study, this episode shows why state governments should focus on logistics, procurement, and equipping educators with the information they need to make the best decision for their students.

Meet our guest(s):

Rebecca Kockler

Rebecca Kockler is program director of Reading Reimagined with AERDF and CEO and founder of Illuminate Literacy. She saw firsthand the reading potential of underestimated and overlooked populations such as students of color or students experiencing poverty and was motivated to act on behalf of them. Previously, she was assistant superintendent of academics at the Louisiana Department of Education, where she created a comprehensive, nationally recognized academic support model that gave teachers, principals, and districts the tools and supports necessary to align assessments, curriculum, and teacher evaluation for greater impact.

Meet Our Host: Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is the chief academic officer of elementary humanities at Amplify, and the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast. Her career, including classroom teacher, building administrator, and district-level leader, has been focused on creating high-quality learning environments using evidence-based practices. Susan is a mom of four, a grandma of four, a world traveler, and a collector of stories. Her professional quarantine accomplishments include the production of knowledge-based learning modules for kindergarten through grade-two students, available through Amplify’s free resources website and Wide Open Schools.


“It was really our teachers who led so much of the charge to say, ‘No, this is what we want. We believe kids should be held to high expectations. We believe they're capable, we believe they deserve it.’” —Rebecca Kockler

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