Independent Reviews of Instructional Materials

These reports were created as a resource for teachers, parents, state and district officials, and others with an interest in identifying Common Core–aligned instructional materials. The initial wave of reviews considered 20 published, K–8 math instructional series and "graded" them on a three-point scale.  Although the reports are funded by entities with large commercial interests in the development of instructional materials (e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Broadcom Foundation)—a fact which behooves readers to read with a critical eye—they offer a useful way to think about curricular alignment.

Content Comments 

The website is well organized and easy to navigate, but the ratings themselves are not very helpful; they collapse too much information into a single, summative judgment: "meets," "partially meets," or "does not meet” expectations.  Also, because of the scoring method used, high quality features of several instructional series were completely ignored if the series failed to pass the first “gateway” of the scoring process.  Perhaps the most useful feature of each report is the publisher’s response.  Several of these give a rich description of the design, intent, and logic of the instructional series; this information will be valuable to readers who are considering or comparing curricula.