A website launched by two educational nonprofit organizations aims to make it easier for California schools and districts to choose instructional materials aligned to the Common Core standards.
Called the California Curriculum Collaborative, the site lists curriculum materials in math and English language arts for grades K-8 recommended by the State Board of Education. The site also provides detailed information about K-12 resources reviewed by the nonprofit EdReports.
The new site, which launched on Tuesday, is intended to be used by California educators. The EdReports reviews were also previously available on the EdReports website, which was created for teachers throughout the country and does not list California board recommendations.
The new website also includes information about “going off-list” – or choosing materials that are not included among the state’s recommendations.
Although the State Board of Education adopts lists of materials recommended for use in grades K-8, it does not do so for high school materials. Districts are free to choose their own materials at all grade levels, as long as they are aligned with the Common Core standards adopted by the state.
Most districts take many months to review materials before adopting them. The two nonprofits plan to host regional workshops throughout California in the spring to show districts how to use the website tools to help them choose curriculum materials.
“I see schools and districts grapple with the challenge of evaluating dozens of instructional materials to find high-quality curricula,” said Carolyn Viss, a former high school math teacher who is now a Stanislaus County Office of Education administrator, in a prepared statement. “It is no small task.”
Viss said the reviews “help to meet the growing demand from counties, districts, schools and teachers for the thoughtful analysis contained in these reports.”
Neither the EdReports site nor the new site include reviews of all state-recommended materials. Those are available on the state’s website.
The EdReports reviews are color-coded. Green signifies that materials met the organization’s Common Core alignment expectations, yellow indicates the expectations were partially met and red means they were not.
Karin Foster, language and literacy coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, said the “detailed reports allow teachers and district leaders to focus their attention on the needs of their students and find those materials that will help their students excel.”
The ratings do not include alignments to the California English Language Development standards, which are aimed at helping English learners become fluent. Instead, the website provides California educators with recommended questions they can use to evaluate the curriculum materials according to those standards.
The English Language Development standards were not included in the EdReports reviews because they are not part of the Common Core standards adopted in other states.