How we do our curriculum alignment and instructional quality reviews
Alignment Verification Methodology
Learning List’s alignment verification process is a multi-step process overseen by Learning List’s Chief Academic Officer. Multiple Learning List subject matter experts sequentially review the citations listed in the publisher’s correlation for alignment to each of the state standards the material is designed to cover.
After the subject matter experts have completed their alignment reviews for a grade level, Learning List’s Chief Academic Officer checks the alignment reports for completeness and arbitrates differences of opinion among the reviewers both within and across grade levels. Once the alignment reports are complete, we calculate the percentage of standards to which the material is aligned for each grade level.
Definition of Alignment
Learning List considers a citation (i.e., page, lesson, activity, quiz) to be aligned to a standard only if the citation addresses the content, cognitive rigor, and context specified in the standard.*
Publishers are afforded an opportunity to preview the alignment reports and submit additional citations to be reviewed for alignment to standards for which Learning List initially found no citations to be aligned. The additional citations will be reviewed and integrated into the alignment report, and the alignment percentage will be recalculated before the review is published.
Publishers may refer to the alignments on LearningList.com in their marketing materials but may not reprint them.
*When reviewing materials for alignment to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), we review citations for alignment to each breakout of each student expectation.
Texas State-Adopted Products
For materials that have gone through the Texas state adoption process, Learning List publishes the state review panel’s detailed alignment report and the alignment percentage calculated by the Texas Education Agency.
Calculating the Alignment Percentage
Calculating the Percentage of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
To calculate the alignment percentage for materials aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), Learning List uses the same methodology as the Texas Education Agency (TEA) uses to calculate the alignment percentage for state-adopted materials. The alignment percentage represents the percentage of Student Expectations to which the material is aligned (number of Student Expectations aligned/total number of Student Expectations).
Student Expectations generally are broken into component parts (i.e., Breakouts). In some instances, these Breakouts are further subdivided into elements, and elements may be further subdivided into sub-elements. When calculating the alignment percentage, in order to give a material credit for aligning to a Student Expectation, we must have found at least one aligned citation for each of the Breakouts of that Student Expectation. Similarly, in order to give a material credit for aligning to a Breakout, we must have found at least one aligned citation for each element (if any exist) of that Breakout.
Said differently, a material is considered aligned to a Student Expectation only if the material is aligned to all of the constituent Breakouts, elements, and sub-elements of that Student Expectation.
Calculating the Percentage of Common Core Standards (CCSS) Addressed
Learning List employs the same methodology for calculating the percentage of CCSS to which a material is aligned as for calculating the percentage of TEKS. If a standard has related Expectations, the material must be aligned to each Expectation in order for the material to be considered aligned to the Standard.
Instructional Quality Reviews
Editorial Review Methodology
Immediately after completing an alignment review, Learning List’s subject matter experts complete an editorial review rubric for the grade level they have reviewed. Learning List’s editorial review rubrics draw from research on effective curriculum and high-quality instructional materials (HQIMs), rubrics and criteria for evaluating HQIMs (e.g., EQuIP, IMET, iNACOL, and the Publisher’s Criteria), as well as states’ adoption processes, and a survey of school district RFPs.
While the subject matter experts are completing their reviews, Learning LIst’s Director of Editorial Review reviews the material across all of the grade bands. The Director then aggregates the subject matter experts’ findings for the grade levels in each grade band and writes the editorial reviews. A single editorial review is completed for each grade band unless reviewers note anomalies in the material for a particular grade level that necessitate a separate editorial review for the grade level.
To help educators identify the resources that will meet their students’ needs and abilities best, our editorial reviews assess:
- Vertical alignment
- Product design, including focus and coherence
- Instructional content
- Rigor and complexity
- Resources for students, including support for special populations and for remote learning
- Teacher resources, including, tools for differentiating instruction, tools for remote instruction, and professional development
- Assessments, monitoring tools, and technology compatibility
We aggregate information from the following sources to produce a text-based, independent review for each of the instructional materials featured on LearningList.com:
- Learning List’s subject matter experts
- Educators who have used the resources with students
- The publisher
- Independent product research