Buyer Beware (Part 3): Believing that the Alignment Percentage Is Consistent Across All Grade Levels

[Source: Griffith Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ]
[Source: Griffith Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ]
According to a recent article published on PBS Newshour, 90 percent of districts in Common Core states said that developing or identifying Common Core curricular materials has posed a challenge. Yet even when instructional materials can be identified, how do districts know what the alignment percentages may be across grade levels?

Alignment percentages can vary greatly from grade level to grade level – independent of the standard  [CCSS (Common Core State Standards), TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills),  etc.] and instructional materials subjects being reviewed [Math, ELA/R, etc.].

Here are a few examples:



Bottom line: Do not assume that the alignment percentage at one grade level is representative of the product’s alignment at all grade levels, or even at all grade levels within a single grade span. Learning List helps identify alignment percentage differences across grade levels and can assist you in selecting supplemental materials that can Fill-in-the-Gap™.

Solution: If your district is going to purchase multi-grade level material, look at the alignment of the material at each grade level. If the material is not consistently aligned, check why. Does the product not attempt to align to a particular domain/strand (i.e., it only addresses information text)? Did the product not align well to a particular domain/strand? If the answer is “yes” to either of these questions, it will be easy to supplement with another material that specializes in the non-aligned domain/strand. However, there simply may not be a logical pattern of non-alignment from grade-level to grade-level. To effectively prepare your students to master the standards, your teachers must know which standards the material is or is not aligned to in each grade level so that they can adjust their instructional strategies accordingly.

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