July 8, 2019

Instructional materials make a difference for student achievement. Research shows that students learn primarily through their interactions with teachers and content. The U.S. K-12 curriculum market is an $8 billion a year industry, which receives a large portion of its revenue from the public sector. Yet very little is known about curriculum adoption and procurement and even less is known about the materials in use in classrooms. 

Because of the critical role instructional materials play in student learning, it is vital for all stakeholders to have a better understanding of the materials market—namely, what high-quality, standards-aligned programs are available and how teachers are using them.

In 2018, we conducted research to better understand the materials landscape and to evaluate the value and impact of our work. We drew upon data from EdReports reviews, information about publisher and copyright dates, and data from the American Teacher Panel (ATP) nationally representative survey on ELA and math curriculum use during the 2017–2018 school year to better understand the following questions: 

  • What percentage of comprehensive, year-long materials that are published and marketed as being standards-aligned meets EdReports’ criteria for alignment?

  • What proportion of the K-12 ELA and mathematics materials used regularly in classrooms meet expectations for alignment?

  • Is there a relation between the length of time that an EdReports review has been available for a product and the percent of market share for that product? 

Read the full report to learn the answers to these important questions. 

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