- Administrators and educators often do not know which materials adequately meet state standards for math and English language arts, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation, as reported by Education Week.
- Knowledge of math standards seems to fall off at the 5th-grade level among school leaders, and when asked to pick materials that meet English language arts standards, almost 90% selected grade-level material — but the Common Core State Standards, for example, actually require educators to pick above-grade-level reading.
- More training and education is recommended for superintendents, administrators and leaders so they’re correctly informed about standards for their students.
As standards change over the years, there's often concern that existing textbooks and other resources no longer dovetail with core requirements. Another issue is that those in charge of selecting resources are not themselves up to date with current standards.
Choosing standards-aligned classroom materials can be difficult. Up to 70% of textbooks that claim to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards are not, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Yet, making sure curriculum is rigorous and up to date is crucial to educating students, noted David Steiner in a 2017 paper, “Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go.”
Curriculum designers may want to follow the approach suggested by the Southern Regional Educational Board, which suggests creating a unified approach to assessing materials by having them constantly reviewed against current standards. Whether that happens at the state level or even at the school level, criteria that’s created so teachers or administrators both can check books or any resource against what’s required for standards is a best practice to follow.