Working Toward Alignment

Welcome to Aligned, a publication dedicated to the conversation about Common Core-aligned instructional materials

We know that with the Common Core, many teachers have been asked do things differently – to focus on different skills and concepts with the goal of making all students better prepared for life after high school. To do this, teachers and students need materials that align to the expectations of the Standards – and chances are, right now they don’t have them.

If you are reading this post, it’s likely that you support the Standards and the promise they offer. Your need for high-quality Common Core-aligned resources is urgent, and the struggle to find them is a source of both frustration and worry. Even to those with decades of experience purchasing instructional materials, these can feel like rough and uncharted waters. When there are not enough aligned options available; when you know your teachers can’t use what they have and expect results, what do you do? Where do you even start?

The purpose of this blog is to help answer these questions by sharing the expertise of like-minded colleagues working through the same frustrations towards the same goals. We’ll bring you experiences, advice and opinions from:

  • State and district leaders
  • Curriculum reviewers
  • Math and ELA/Literacy experts from the field
  • Publishers
  • Student Achievement Partners

Each week we’ll share what we’re learning from Common Core adopters going through the process of identifying and obtaining aligned materials. We’ll share the mistakes that have been made (and how to avoid them), news and trends in the field, and advice from math and ELA experts about what “good” looks like.

Because the Common Core is not a curriculum, it presents tremendous opportunity and tough challenges for the design of new instructional materials. While we believe that, one day, there will be many high-quality, brilliantly-creative, Common Core-aligned curriculum options, today’s reality is that most options still need improvement. Fostering the innovation we hope to see in new instructional materials is going to require collaboration from all the stakeholders – including publishers, school leaders, and classroom teachers. It also demands transparency and agreement about the criteria we use to define what Common Core-alignment means.

The Common Core provides milestones that let us know if students are on track to meet the goal of college and career readiness. We need materials that support this trajectory. Students and teachers deserve the best we can offer them – materials that inspire students to raise their hands, become life-long learners, and reach their goals.

Whether you’re entering a purchasing cycle, seeking OER resources to fill gaps in current materials, or are simply interested, we hope you’ll join the conversation.

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About the Author: Student Achievement Partners is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving student achievement through evidence-based action. Founded by some of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards, the organization works closely with educators and other partners in the education field ensure the promise of the Common Core is realized in classrooms across the country.