EdReports.org reviews find some ELA textbooks better meet criteria for alignment to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) than others

News | August 30, 2016

Durham, NC — August 30, 2016 — EdReports.org, a nonprofit that offers free reviews of instructional materials to determine alignment to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), today announced the results of its first round of English Language Arts (ELA) reviews. Their findings revealed that three of the seven instructional materials series reviewed fully met alignment criteria.

“The release of our first ELA reports represents an important milestone for EdReports.org and for educators,” said EdReports.org’s Executive Director Eric Hirsch. “We have heard from so many teachers and administrators who let us know how our reviews of math materials filled a crucial gap when making purchasing decisions. We are delighted to be able to expand this effort to identify high-quality ELA materials as well.”

In its inaugural review of ELA instructional materials, EdReports.org’s Content Review Teams analyzed seven year-long series against indicators for alignment to the CCSS, 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.

After reviewing 22 grades across the 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

State education officials overseeing curriculum applauded the release.  “Louisiana believes that one of the most critical decisions districts can make to improve student learning is choosing a high-quality curriculum,” said Rebecca Kockler, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Content at the Louisiana Department of Education. “The ELA curriculum reports released by EdReports.org support our school systems in this process, by offering them reputable reviews of curricula that will support teacher and student needs in the classroom.”

Hirsch also offered some overarching observations of the ELA reviews.  “Most all of the series’ text quality and complexity were at grade level,” said Hirsch, “but our Content Review Teams also noted materials generally need to focus more instructional content on speaking and listening and provide more consistency in evidence-based tasks and questions.”

Materials review teams are comprised of outstanding classroom educators and ELA experts who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the CCSS. They represent every grade level and average more than 15 years of classroom teaching experience.

EdReports.org will continue to review additional K-12 print and digital instructional materials in ELA and math and will release the results on a rolling basis. For more information on the results and review process, visit: www.edreports.org.

# # #

CONTACT:

Mia Peterson, EdReports.org
mpeterson@edreports.org
303-548-2800