Less than 20% of the materials in use in classrooms are aligned to standards.
All students deserve high-quality materials. Less than 20 percent of the materials in use in classrooms are aligned to standards.
What you select and how you select matters. Schools and districts have more options than ever from which to find high-quality materials that meet their local priorities. The selection process is a critical lever for ensuring that quality materials are adopted and then used well in classrooms. Current adoption practices are simply not good enough.
We believe that:
We work with teams across the country to implement the steps below, improve their selection processes, and find the right materials for their students and teachers. Explore our case studies to see how different districts have applied these key steps. Additional activities, resources, and protocols we use with teams are embedded within the steps for you to use or adapt within your own process.
We’ve also collected resources and best practices from these districts and included them here for your inspiration. We will be adding to this collection on a regular basis.
Contact us if you would like to share a best practice from a recent adoption process or consult with one of our experts as you plan your next instructional materials selection,
Adopting Materials During the COVID-19 Crisis: To support educators in their planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, EdReports has created a collection of resources to advocate for and guide decision making around the use of high-quality instructional materials. Explore this resource >
Analyze your current state: consider data (e.g., student, teacher, system), key initiatives, and adoption requirements set forth in school or state board policies (e.g., RFP procedures, procurement requirements).
Establish or communicate an instructional vision for the content area of your adoption to guide the process. An instructional vision is a general description of instructional aspirations and articulates the way districts see teaching and learning for the content.
Codify your district priorities and additional review criteria: using the knowledge of your current state, establish additional criteria (beyond alignment to standards and instructional shifts) that align with your instructional vision and support the needs of your local community.
Develop goals and a theory of change for the adoption; prepare to articulate the purpose and goal for new materials.
By reviewing district data, you are grounding the upcoming work in your district’s unique context which will inform the decision-making for all of your stakeholders.
An instructional vision articulates what teaching and learning should look like in a particular content area. Read examples from real districts.
Educator Shannah Estep shares three tips that will set your adoption process on the right track and guide you in your quest for high-quality, aligned instructional materials.
Educator Jennifer Johnson offers advice to small school districts about how to use EdReports reviews to increase capacity and adopt high-quality instructional materials.
Meet the reviewers and staff of EdReports! Learn what we do and why we're committed to ensuring all students have access to high-quality instructional materials.
Read about the challenges Newport-Mesa Unified School district faced, the important steps they took to ensure success, and the role EdReports played in their journey of instructional materials adoption.
If not previously established, assemble an adoption committee composed of a variety of stakeholders, including teachers and school leaders.
Create a timeline and milestones that extend from adoption through launch.
Define the parameters of your adoption (e.g., budget, timing, decision-making process, tech needs).
Engage your committee in appropriate professional learning in order to prepare for your investigation of the materials (includes standards and shifts as well as “why materials matter”).
Bringing together a collaborative team of educators in an adoption committee is an essential component of your adoption process.
Read one district's story about the power and lasting impact that comes with involving educators and the community at every step of the materials selection process.
Learn about the available programs in your grade and content area using EdReports.org.
Conduct initial research (online, telephone, email).
Apply your district lens to this research and decide which 2-4 programs you plan to study more deeply.
*note: we recommend steps 1-3 happen before you dive into any materials or engage more deeply with publishers.
One of the most important steps in the adoption process is to winnow the field to a manageable number of programs so that committees can review each potential set of materials in depth.
Explore the EdReports compare tool to learn more about the quality of instructional materials and help support your adoption process.
Explore the EdReports compare tool as a resource to support you throughout your district's materials adoption process.
Check out EdReports new video to learn more about how to find aligned curriculum, narrow your options, and ensure you choose the best program for your district.
Establish the structure and process for this next phase of research, which focuses on deep study of each of the programs you’re considering. Start by asking yourselves: 1) what do we want to learn about how the materials address our priorities and 2) what is the best way to learn this?
Reach out to publishers to request samples of the materials and set up future presentations. Use the time with publishers to have them answer questions the committee has developed that specifically address your local priorities, as well as to discuss strengths and gaps identified in the reports. *note: you may end up winnowing your list to an even smaller number after speaking with the publisher representatives.
Determine what kind of professional learning will be needed for those engaged in investigating the materials. For example, if you are piloting to learn about the time it takes to teach a full lesson, the professional learning needed from the publisher might simply be to walk through the lesson “must-dos” and “may-dos”.
One of the most critical components of a strong adoption process is taking the time to deeply investigate your options. This resource provides your team with a variety of approaches to investigate the programs after you have winnowed your list of options.
Learn more from districts and educator leaders about key steps to take if you are considering piloting potential new materials.
Read the story of a group of rural districts in Wisconsin that came together to strategically engage publishers and develop a new materials adoption culture.
Learn about how Fife Public Schools engaged educators and ensured teacher voice was integral to the district’s instructional materials adoption.
Examine the evidence collected from your investigation tied to the priorities/additional criteria you’ve established:
Use your decision-making process to make a final selection.
Develop communications that will share the decision and the expectations moving forward.
Plan for the procurement and distribution of the materials
Read more about the resources, planning, and possible approaches to making a final materials adoption decision.
A school district uses consensus protocols to overcome divisions when selecting new materials.
Create an on-going professional learning plan that includes “getting to know” the materials as well as sustained professional learning that directly focuses on how teachers will learn to teach using the new materials.
Articulate plans for short-term and long-term activities to support implementation (e.g. teacher and leader professional learning, necessary adjustments to district assessments, leadership walkthroughs to monitor implementation) and expectations for use.
Establish additional feedback mechanisms so professional learning can be responsive to teachers’ needs and address concerns.
Ensure there is a structure and adequate time for the district staff who will train and support teachers to learn the materials themselves.
Include in your professional learning plans the specific training site leaders will need to support teachers with timely, appropriate feedback.
Getting high-quality materials into classrooms is just the first step toward improving student learning. This is why considering how you will launch and implement new materials is a critical aspect of your adoption process.
Chief Strategy Officer, Lauren Weisskirk, shares a tale of two adoptions: one that planned a rollout for its new instructional materials and one that didn't.
Game-changers educators should consider while rolling out new instructional materials whether students are learning in the classroom or learning remotely.
Explore this interactive feature from CalCurriculum.org that helps educators to understand implementation through the lens of data, develop new supports grounded in local context, and leverage continuous improvement strategies to apply new implementation supports.