Critical Literacy & Achievement

The education consulting group Evolve has developed a framework that has demonstrated substantial gains in achievement for students of color. The group's 'critical literacy' approach has impacted gains in student attendance and standardized assessments. But there is more to these gains than the work of "doing school" and "being a student".

Evolve's approach to critical literacy builds on the activist tradition of Brazilian Paolo Freire, which underscores developing a "critical consciousness" in the community. This approach speaks to the heart of a truly democratic education, in which teachers, students and community members embrace their leadership role in civic duty/responsibility and work together toward social change.

This notion of critical literacy informs and integrates with the development of a functional literacy, or academic literacy, by engaging students in learning with curricula that is relevant to student experience. This success of merging critical and academic literacy is built on the premise that students and communities bring their own learning and knowledge to school.

How has Evolve achieved these goals?

(add connect ot common core, etc.)


Teacher: As a new teacher, I was nervous about how find the balance between developing curriculum that honors my students experience and background and the common core. Evolve's methodology and approach has given me the tools that have calmed my nerves.

Student: When I first heard my teacher Ms. White say that we were going to talk about how it was important for us to understand our identities as students of color, I thought she was crazy. But, i came to learn and feel that even though my teacher is not from my community, that her approach to teaching and learning is about love for self, and love for all peoples, it started to make sense. What we started to do in class, in our school community, and outside in the world, to change things for the better, made me begin to understannd what it means to be a real global citizen.