Instructional Materials: Who Makes the Choice? Findings from the Annual Survey on Implementing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics
Survey Findings Shed Light on Considerations for Implementing Effective Math Curricula
Math in Common® (MiC) is a five-year initiative that supports a formal network of 10 California school districts as they implement the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) across grades K–8.
High-quality instructional materials are vital to achieve these standards, yet every district faces a dizzying array of decisions with respect to choosing, adopting, supplementing, and aligning materials. These decisions are likely to have cumulative and widely varying implications for how instruction is organized within and across districts, schools, and classrooms to support student achievement. While good curriculum choices are being made in some districts, poor materials may be compromising student learning in others.
To understand how instructional materials might support and hinder California educators in their work, WestEd surveyed over 2,000 teachers and 100 administrators in the 10 Math in Common school districts, and conducted eight focus groups with teachers and principals.
- Many teachers feel the materials provided by their districts are insufficient to meet CCSS-M standards. About 79 percent of teachers reported that they used materials other than those provided by their district to supplement their teaching in “some” to “most” of their lessons each week.
- Some teachers are uncertain as to the quality of their curriculum. Almost half of teachers reported asking their peers for support to determine whether instructional materials were aligned to CCSS-M standards.
- There is wide variation in curriculum materials and implementation across districts, yet there are few formal structures for districts across the state to share information about what works and doesn’t with their peers.
Drawing from work on this study as well as literature on standards implementation, WestEd outlined three key steps for educators to consider as they move forward with their curricula. To learn what these key steps are, and more about survey findings, download “Instructional Materials: Who Makes the Choice?”
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