eAlerts | September 8, 2016

Last week, we published our inaugural reviews of ELA curriculum materials. After reviewing 22 grades across seven series, EdReports.org found that:

3 series met expectations for alignment and usability:

  •    Amplify ELA (Amplify): Grades 6-8
  •    Expeditionary Learning (EL Education): Grades 6-8
  •    ReadyGEN (Pearson): Grades 3-5

3 series partially met expectations for alignment:

  •       Bookworms (OER): Grades 3-5
  •       Collections 2015 (HMH): Grades 6-8
  •       SpringBoard (College Board): Grades 6-8

1 series did not meet expectations for alignment:

  •      Reading Street (Pearson): Grades 3-6

Content Review Teams analyzed 22 grade-level materials from seven year-long series, looking for text quality and complexity, alignment to standards, and building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Materials that meet criteria for alignment were then further evaluated to determine their usability, which includes supports for educators, multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners, effective lesson structure and pacing, good student assessment practices and effective use of technology.

To learn more about our findings directly from our team and leaders in the field, register for our live webinar to be held on September 14 from 4:00-5:00 PM EST.

And a note of appreciation to the hundreds of educators hard at work reviewing instructional materials. As always, please reach out if you have questions, suggestions, and stories about how our reports help the field.

We will release additional grade-level reports for K-12 math and 3-8 ELA in the coming months. If you would like to request a review for a series not currently in our queue, or if you have stories about how you have used one of our reviews, please send an email to communications@edreports.org.


Eric Hirsch
Executive Director | EdReports.org

In the Classroom and the Field

We spoke with Maya Lars, National Board Certified Teacher, with Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, about her experience as an EdReports.org reviewer and how she sees the work coming to life in her own district. “What I love about the EdReports.org process is that it prioritizes the factors that are most important for supporting students.” Read the full guest blog post.

Talking about and analyzing the tasks students were doing with the texts “was always an interesting part of our discussions," comments Steven Helton, the former director of elementary education with Rutherford County Schools, N.C., and a lead reviewer for EdReports.org. "[We looked to] ensure the students were meaningfully engaged in discussion and not just answering basic questions." Read the full article here.

To hear more from Maya and Steven, register for our September 14 webinar where they will join our panel to discuss the EdReports.org ELA reviews, our approach, and how the reports are being used in schools and districts across the country. Panelists also include:

  • Eric Hirsch, Executive Director, EdReports.org
  • Liisa Potts, Director of ELA Reviews, EdReports.org
  • Dr. Molly Branson Thayer, Director, Washington P-3 Executive Leadership Institute, University of Washington
  • Morgan Dunton, ELA Specialist, Maine Department of Education

Review Tool and Our Approach

Our ELA review teams spend 5-10 hours per week for several months to create the detailed reports. Reviewers collect evidence from materials for identified indicators independently and meet weekly to share findings and decide on which evidence best represents the indicator. For more details on our approach and to view the tool, visit our website and register for our webinar.

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