April 21, 2021
Resources to Support Your Curriculum Adoption
Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, educators across the state have been learning together while preparing to adopt new math materials. Members of the CalCurriculum Math Adoption Cohort — which included a diverse group of 15 districts, charter management organizations, and county offices from across California — developed plans for the adoption of standards aligned, high quality math materials, including a change management strategy, instructional vision, and definition of quality instructional materials.
While many participating districts decided to delay their adoption timeline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of high quality materials has only grown as schools reopen for in-person learning and educators focus on learning recovery. Curriculum to support excellent instruction will be critical to closing gaps in both math and reading.
We’d love to share a few of the lessons learned by Cohort members that may help inform your future curriculum adoption process:
- Curriculum selection has a significant impact on learning outcomes for historically underserved students: For example, students taking a geometry curriculum with more cognitively-demanding tasks learned the concepts faster than those working with less cognitively-demanding tasks (Lehrer & Chaza, 1998) and when high-achieving Black and Latino students are placed in gifted classes they demonstrate significant gains in both reading and math scores (Card & Giuliano, 2016).
- Develop a shared vision for curriculum adoption and implementation in order to drive equitable instruction and learning recovery.
- Consider cultural relevance and supports for English learners as you choose materials.
Participants were overwhelmingly satisfied with what they learned and are eager to use best practices to begin their own adoption processes with the common goal of closing opportunity gaps.
The Cohort participants found a number of resources and tools shared during their time together to be particularly helpful including:
- CalCurriculum’s Adoption Guidance Toolkit: Actionable tools to ensure materials are aligned to California’s standards and meet the needs of your district.
- EdReports: Reviews of K-12 instructional materials that can be used to quickly determine the quality.
- Case studies from other districts: These provide lessons learned about the adoption process and insights to guide your process in real time. Here are a few case studies from EdReports:
- Building Consensus Through a Teacher Lead Materials Adoption (CA)
- Redefining Engagement: How Baltimore City Public Schools Transformed Its Approach to Adopting Instructional Materials (MD)
- Building Buy-In: Rhode Island’s Comprehensive Approach to Selecting High Quality Curricula
- Big Changes in Rural Wisconsin
- The Power of Engaging All Educators During an Instructional Materials Adoption (WA)
We see more clearly than ever the need for high-quality instructional materials to facilitate equitable learning environments. We hope the findings of this Cohort and resources are valuable as you plan for the future.