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So-Called Common Core Aligned Materials May Be Anything But
posted by: Melissa | March 12, 2014, 03:34 PM   

As Common Core implementation hits full stride, educational publishers across the country are releasing textbooks and other materials that claim to be Common Core aligned.  School districts and teachers have begun adopting these materials in the belief that something that claims to be Common Core aligned actually is.  For teachers, who have limited planning time, pre-made materials that can be easily incorporated into lessons may seem like a godsend.


Evidence, however, suggests that educators should be wary when considering adoption of these materials.

Dr. William Schmidt of Michigan State has been a longtime proponent of the Common Core Standards.  He previously released a report claiming that the math standards were of high quality.  However, he was bitterly disappointed when he evaluated the math materials that claimed to be aligned with the standards.

What he found was that most of the textbooks that claimed to be Common Core aligned weren’t aligned at all.
One of the key elements of the Common Core Math standards, are a narrower, but more in depth study of mathematical concepts.  However, Dr. Schmidt found that most textbooks continued to include just as many mathematical concepts as before and failed to include lessons or activities that promoted the deeper understanding promised in Common Core.  In fact, he found that many of these new textbooks were virtually unchanged.

Dr. Schmidt isn’t the only researcher to come to this conclusion.  
University of Southern California Professor Morgan Polikoff also evaluated the textbooks teachers often use. Like the previous research, Polikoff found that textbooks often contained material outside of the Common Core standards and were missing activities that called on deeper thinking and higher mathematical understanding.

Teachers and districts looking at materials will have to proceed carefully.  Fortunately, there are several tools that educators can use when evaluating materials. Check out:


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