Education Beat Podcast — A year of stories getting to the heart of California schools — Listen Now!

News Update

Popular English/language arts curriculum Units of Study receives harsh review

The popular but often-criticized Units of Study K-8 English/Language Arts curriculum received a scathing review Monday from the nonprofit EdReports.

EdReports’ instructional material reviews draw on expert educators and are often considered by districts and committees in decisions regarding textbooks and curriculum.

The most recent 2018 version of Units of Study did not meet EdReports’ expectations, the organization said. EdReports criticized the curriculum for relying on “cueing” in K-2 materials for solving unknown words. Cueing focuses on the immediate sounds and meaning cues rather than decoding words.

Materials for grades three to five “did not meet the expectations” for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards, according to the review.

“Materials lack a variety of regular, standards-aligned, text-based listening and speaking opportunities,” EdReports said in the review.

The California Reading Coalition, in a tweet Tuesday, said the EdReports review should be a “wake up call for California districts” that use the curriculum.