Instructional Materials

Widespread adoption and  implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) means that for the first time in the history of public education, curriculum developers have a set of academic standards used by the majority of states to which they can align their materials. Simultaneously, publishers and others are packaging curricula in interactive, digital formats. State boards should capitalize on this opportunity to reexamine existing policies regarding curriculum with the goal of directing departments, districts, and/or schools to:

  • Align materials to the CCSS through a statewide price list, embedding the publishers’ criteria into state requirements, and/or implementing a statewide core curriculum;
  • Shift the emphasis from traditional multi-year textbook purchases to curricular materials with interactive, digital components and ensure flexibility for the use of supplemental open educational resources; and
    Publishers’ criteria can be found at: http://www.corestandards.org
     
  • Establish a comprehensive strategy for implementing technology in the classroom.

Criteria for publishers of textbooks and other instructional materials have been developed and are available online. State boards of education should familiarize themselves with the criteria and should refer to it when making decisions about policies the State board makes or changes regarding this matter. Additionally, LEAs should be made aware that such criteria exist and that local decisions made about textbooks and instructional materials should be based in part on the criteria.

 

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