Preparing for Materials Adoption: Workshop Reflections

Morgan Sheppard, Program Manager, Innovation

February 27, 2023

Educators are motivated to center the needs of multilingual learners

On January 25 and 26, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating our 2023 California Curriculum Collaborative Math Adoption Workshop in partnership with leaders from Pivot Learning, EdReports, and the English Learner Success Forum. We were joined by over 100 educators and leaders from across the state, including 18 districts and charter management organizations and two county offices of education.

Our team was motivated by new data that illustrates an urgent need: a recent report from The Education Trust-West shared that over one million of California’s students – nearly 20% – are categorized as English Learner (EL) students; and in 2022, 90% of those students did not meet grade-level expectations for mathematics standards. In light of this crisis, we focused this year’s workshop on centering the needs of English and multilingual learners (MLL). Key takeaways included:

  • Centering the needs of multilingual learners in your curriculum adoption is a high-leverage strategy for equity and improving student outcomes in math
  • Instructional materials adoptions are complex processes that must include thoughtful and intentional planning
  • An effective adoption includes planning for an impactful launch of implementation

On our first day together, participants jumped straight into the beginning of EdReports’ Key Adoption Steps: Develop a Local Lens. I led teams through a data analysis protocol to uncover priority focus areas for math instruction, which they then used to inform the development of additional local criteria for their math materials adoption. One participant shared that a highlight of the workshop was:

“Looking at the data from our district and creating a vision for what we want out of a curriculum because it helped us prioritize our needs.”

As someone with a background in data and instruction, I know the importance of knowing your data and using it to drive improvement. I was continually inspired over the course of our workshop to see how teams of educators, just like this participant, were using their data to drive strategic priorities for their materials adoption. It was a jam-packed workshop, and participants left feeling equipped with new tools and learning and motivated to lead a strong adoption process.

If your team is ready to begin your adoption process and develop your local lens, you can find the Data Discovery Tool and guidance from an EdReports blog on how Local Needs Matter within our site resources page. 

We see more clearly than ever the need to prioritize the success of multilingual learners when selecting high-quality instructional materials in order to facilitate equitable learning environments. We hope the resources from this workshop are valuable as you plan for the future!