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Review of ELA Textbooks Finds Most Aren’t Fully Aligned to Common Core Standards Despite Claiming to Be

Review of ELA Textbooks Finds Most Aren’t Fully Aligned to Common Core Standards Despite Claiming to Be

Following up on its review of K-12 math textbooks, non-profit EdReports.org has released new findings after looking at a series of English Language Arts textbooks claiming to be aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Similar to its report on math textbooks, EdReports’ first analysis of ELA textbooks found most are not fully aligned to Common Core Standards despite claiming to be.

Out of the seven series studied, only 3 met fully met the expectations for alignment and usability while three partially did and one did not at all.

According to EdReports, it used a team of ELA experts to come up with its findings.

"Materials review teams are comprised of outstanding classroom educators and ELA experts who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the CCSS. They represent every grade level and average more than 15 years of classroom teaching experience,” the non-profit said in a statement.

During the process, the experts analyzed the texts for "text quality and complexity, alignment to standards, and building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks.”

After this, the team analyzed the books for “usability, which includes supports for educators, multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners, effective lesson structure and pacing, good student assessment practices and effective use of technology.”

This report is the first from EdReports to look at ELA textbooks, but the company said it will be releasing more reports in the future on a rolling basis.

EdReports receives funding from the Gates Foundation. In May, the Gates Foundation announced a commitment to improving the resources that are aligned to the Common Core in hopes of improving the standards in general.

"With funding from the Gates Foundation and others, EdReports initially released reports last year on elementary and middle school math materials, finding mixed results,” The 74 said in June.

The non-profit plans to continue its mission to weed out materials that do not provide teachers with quality instruction in what it calls an oversaturated market.

Read more about the findings here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/31/2016

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