Introduction to EdReports

Identifying excellence in instructional materials

EdReports.org is an independent nonprofit that publishes free reviews of year-long K-12 instructional materials for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, usability, and other quality criteria. These reports help districts and educators:

  • Make informed decisions when purchasing new materials
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of their existing textbooks
  • Highlight places where educators can adapt their existing materials to improve them
  • Plan informed, curriculum-specific professional development

We do this because we know that the instructional materials chosen by districts and schools can have as large an impact on student outcomes as teacher quality. We also know that finding the best materials remains a challenge for teachers and districts nationwide.

To date, we’ve posted more than 150 reports for K-HS math and 3-8 ELA. Reviews of additional materials, including our first K-2 ELA reviews, are in the pipeline. Our educators spend 200+ hours per review, closely examining all grade levels and all units to find evidence of alignment and quality criteria and score each set of materials. Each grade-level report receives summary scores and detailed evidence on how well the units and lessons meet these criteria.

Elevating educator voice and expertise

We believe in the power of educator-led reviews. Practitioners are closest to students and have great expertise in navigating instructional materials and implementing college- and career-ready standards. This is why we recruit and select educator-reviewers from a competitive application process.

Reviewers receive face-to-face and virtual professional development on our educator-designed review process. Each week during the review process, educators independently review materials using a review rubric, evidence guides, and the Common Core State Standards. They then meet in weekly PLCs to discuss evidence and come to consensus on scoring. Through this analysis, our educators have found that the materials in the market vary in their alignment to college- and career-ready standards. Some materials are found to be fully aligned, some are partially aligned, and some do not meet our baseline expectations for alignment.

Part of our commitment to the field is to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders, including publishers. Publishers have the opportunity to orient review teams to materials, answer clarifying questions throughout the process, and provide a publisher response that is also posted on EdReports.org. We stand ready to review new versions of materials after publishers make substantive revisions, and we are proud of the number of materials that have already been submitted and re-reviewed.

Using the reports and getting involved

Districts and schools can use the reports to inform the adoption process and the effective implementation of materials. Detailed evidence can support adoption teams throughout the selection process, including understanding how well the materials align to standards and match local priorities. Districts and school teams can use the reports to plan professional development and implementation strategies, and teachers can use the reports to identify strengths and weaknesses in materials as they plan instruction.

Here are four ways to support EdReports.org’s mission to increase the quality of instructional materials in classrooms nationwide.

  1. Share EdReports.org with your colleagues and others who make decisions about instructional materials in your district.
  2. Check out the reports. You can read evidence about materials you’re already using, request reviews for additional materials, and learn more about other products in the market.
  3. Share your experiences with grade-level instructional materials on our user forum to support other educators as they adopt or implement resources.
  4. Channel your passion for curriculum and apply to be a content reviewer. Reviewers let us know that participating is great professional development with benefits that extend beyond the review process and to their own practice.

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About the Author: Mia Peterson is EdReports.org’s Communication and Outreach Specialist. Mia joined EdReports from iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, where she worked in membership development and services. Prior to working with iNACOL, Mia worked in Denver Public Schools, where she led an operations team, supported a portfolio of innovation grants, and helped to prioritize access to personalized learning models for all students. She has worked in communications and marketing in non-profit, for-profit, and start-up environments. Mia earned an MBA from Regis University and a BA from Drake University.