Part 4 of Getting to Know Core Knowledge

A Recommendation to Fellow Publishers

The President of Core Knowledge challenges fellow publishers to complete an alignment rubric

In this series, Linda Bevilacqua, President of the Core Knowledge Foundation, will share an instructional materials developer’s perspective on the current materials landscape as well as provide an in-depth look at the Core Knowledge curricular materials. If you have questions you’d like Linda to address, please submit them to ccssmaterials@studentsachieve.net.

If you could give one piece of advice to fellow publishers/instructional materials developers to help them better meet the needs of the field, what would it be?

I really wish that all publishers and instructional materials developers would voluntarily agree to complete a rubric, such as the Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool (IMET) created by Student Achievement Partners, and make it publicly available for anyone to use.

I am specifically thinking that the publisher would complete the Evidence section of the IMET, citing specific examples of how their curriculum or product meets the criteria identified in the IMET. Publishers would not complete the “Meets or Does Not Meet” Rating of each metric; this section would be left blank so that any educator using this tool could evaluate the evidence cited and make their own determination as to whether the criteria had been met.

I think this would offer benefits to both publishers and consumers. Publishers know (or should know!) their own materials best and should be able to provide clear and specific examples as evidence of how their product addresses the Standards.

This would shift some of the burden to publishers of proving whether materials are CCSS aligned and would be a real time saver to consumers looking to evaluate materials. Using a single tool, like the IMET, would also allow everyone–publishers and consumers alike–to compare apples to apples in evaluating materials.

As an instructional materials developer, I would welcome the opportunity to complete the IMET in this way and demonstrate to consumers how our published materials align with the CCSS.

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About the Author: Linda Bevilacqua is the president of the Core Knowledge Foundation, where she has worked during the past 21 years to guide the Foundation’s national initiatives. She is frequently sought out to participate in curricular and policy discussions at the national level, for example, by Student Achievement Partners, the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers to consult regarding the development of the CCSS-ELA. She has authored and contributed to the development of multiple Core Knowledge Foundation publications, including What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Read-Alouds to Get Ready for Kindergarten (2008) and What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Activity Books I and II. Her most recent work focused on the conceptualization and creation of the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program (CKLA), Pre-K-Grade 5, leading the Foundation's collaborative efforts with NYSED to bring model CCSS aligned ELA curriculum and professional development to teachers throughout the state of New York. These materials are now available to any teacher or parent for free download from the Core Knowledge website at http://www.coreknowledge.org/ckla-files . Linda is presently leading the Foundation’s initiative to develop a comprehensive history, geography, and civics program, with cross-curricular art connections, that will also be offered for free download on the Core Knowledge website; a sample unit on Medieval Europe is already available for download at http://coreknowledge.org/g4-hgca.