EdReports.org’s tools evaluate instructional materials from the educator and student perspective. We know when materials enter a classroom, teachers are looking for two key features: are the materials aligned to college- and career- ready standards and are they usable for students and educators?
Alignment: The foundation of the review process is the evaluation of the instructional materials’ alignment to college- and career-ready standards. Reviewers examine not only the presence of standards, but how well the standards are sequenced and the depth with which standards are included. Aligned materials allow students to engage with texts, problems, and assessments that build logically from year to year so that they graduate college- and career-ready.
Our overall alignment rating combines the scores for the following categories:
Text Quality and Complexity (gateway 1)
Building Knowledge Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks (gateway 2)
Focus and Coherence (gateway 1)
Rigor and Mathematical Practices (gateway 2)
Usability: The review process also examines whether or not the instructional materials are usable for students and educators. Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. It also means that the materials offer assessments that help educators and parents focus on strengths and areas of growth, and incorporate technology effectively as a means to helping students learn.
If materials meet expectations for alignment, then the final rating assigned is the usability score (gateway 3).