Strategies for Reviewing Adaptive Materials

Over the last year, many of our subscribing districts requested reviews of adaptive materials. The concept behind adaptive materials is admirable: different content is presented to each student based upon the student’s performance on each task or assessment. In essence, these products offer the promise of an individualized instruction for each student.

However, districts should not assume that “adaptive” means “aligned to standards.” Many adaptive materials assign content based on skill mastery rather than mastery of the standards. Based on our experience, districts would be advised to carefully review the alignment of adaptive materials to the standards they are needed to support before using them.

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What Alignment Means

During our many conversations with publishers regarding instructional materials we have found that the statement “aligned to standards” means different things to different people. For example, the marketing director of a publishing company recently told us that “aligned to standards” in their marketing material means that their material generally addresses the concepts contained in the standards. In contrast, when we ask educators what they understand when they read that a material is “aligned to standards,” they repeatedly tell us they expect the material to address the content knowledge and skills the standards require students to learn.


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Teacher Shortages

With school starting, districts across the country are scrambling to find teachers for their classrooms.  Yesterday, educators and policymakers gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend the Oklahoma Teacher Pipeline Summit to discuss long-term solutions to the teacher shortage.  Some of the policy-based solutions that were discussed include:

  • State-funded loan forgiveness, scholarships or signing bonuses for university-prepared teachers who commit to working in a public school;
  • State funded paid student teacher internships;
  • University-created courses to prepare future educators for subject specific knowledge (e.g., the Tulsa University is creating a STEM minor for future teachers), pedagogical knowledge, and skills educators need to support today’s students, including courses in childhood trauma.

An interim legislative study on policy solutions to address teacher shortages is anticipated.

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Five Tips for Reviewing the Alignment of Materials

Over the summer, many educators engage in instructional planning, including verifying the alignment of the materials they intend to use during the upcoming school year. Reviewing the alignment of materials is great professional development for educators. Team Meeting

Having reviewed well over 2000 materials for alignment to various state and Advanced Placement standards, we share these five pointers to assist in your alignment reviews: [Read More …]

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The Three Cs of Alignment

One of the topics we are often asked to present at conferences is how to align a material to state standards. Before you begin the hard work of aligning instructional materials, you must ensure that teachers understand the knowledge and skills each Student Expectation requires students to learn. Each Student Expectation contains three parts, which we call the “Three Cs of …

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Complying with the 100% Rule

On March 24, Superintendents received TEA’s “To the Administrator Addressed” letter regarding ordering instructional materials and certifying their district’s compliance with the 100% Rule. State-adopted, non-adopted, comprehensive and supplemental materials may be considered when certifying that the district’s materials align to 100% of the TEKS for each grade/subject.

New (Free) Whitepaper: Why Alignment Matters

Has your district ever purchased instructional materials that fail to live up to their claims? If so, you’re not alone. Learning List has reviewed over 500 instructional materials, and only half (54%) of those that claim to be aligned to 100% of the state standards, actually are. Ever wondered why that happens?

Learning List and Publishers Collaborate to Benefit Educators and Students

As the industry-leading instructional materials review service for schools and districts, Learning List has designed a robust review process specifically intended to inform educator choice. As one curriculum director observed:
“Learning List was built from the ground up to respond specifically to educators’ needs. And it does.”

Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 2)

Earlier this week, we began our series on the 15 questions that are most commonly asked of Learning List by those who develop and deliver content. The series began with the answers to five of those questions. In this installment, we’ll address five more.

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