Washington, D.C. — The quality of instructional materials utilized in the classroom plays a significant role in shaping student outcomes and teacher performance and preparation. A new analysis of instructional materials utilized and recommended by the nation’s 30 largest school districts for fourth- and eighth-grade math and language arts finds that, for what can be a cost-neutral change, districts have a far way to go in adopting high-quality curricula nationally. Key findings from the report include:
- Eleven of 26 school districts whose curricula are known and rated are using highly rated instructional materials.
- Twenty-four of 26 school districts whose curricula are known and rated are using or recommending at least one curriculum with a low rating.
- Approximately one-third of the materials that districts reported adopting or recommending were highly rated by EdReports, meaning that they met expectations for alignment. Only 9 percent to 20 percent—depending on grade and subject—of the materials that districts reported adopting or recommending were rated highly—or Tier 1—by Louisiana’s annotated reviews.
- The research also uncovered the difficulty of determining which instructional materials districts are adopting or recommending. Only 19 of the 30 districts provided such information on their websites. Seventeen districts provided information on their websites on the process they undertake when adopting instructional materials.
The report also finds that there are a handful of large school districts leading in the adoption of high-quality curricula, including Shelby County Schools in Tennessee, Duval Public Schools in Florida, Wake County Public School System in North Carolina, and Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky. The process by which some of these districts recommended, developed, and adopted high-quality curricula is also spotlighted.
Click here to read the report: “Curriculum Reform in the Nation’s Largest School Districts” by Lisette Partelow and Sarah Shapiro
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at email@example.com or 202-741-6292.