Every Nebraska student deserves the opportunity to learn from high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials to prepare for success in college, career, and civic life. Through the Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative, the Nebraska Department of Education and key partners are committed to providing statewide leadership that informs and supports the decisions made locally related to curriculum and instructional materials.

The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative (NIMC) promotes and advances equity.

  • All Nebraska students deserve equitable access to the educational opportunities necessary for success in college, career, and civic life. This includes learning the content outlined in Nebraska’s content area standards, but also includes opportunities for students to discover and explore their passions within the context of their postsecondary interests.
  • The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative increases the capacity of districts by highlighting high-quality, standards-aligned instructional  materials and creates opportunities for aligned professional development that ensures teachers are able to use the materials effectively.
  • The opportunity for our students to learn is smaller when students receive instruction from materials not aligned to state standards. The use of high-quality, standards aligned instructional materials creates a greater opportunity for students to learn.
  • A recent study found that low-income students are less likely to have access to high quality content or textbooks in the classroom compared to students in higher-income communities. This inequity, in part, accounts for the significant achievement gap between these students and their more affluent peers. The NIMC is committed to help address this gap.

Supporting teachers by providing both high-quality instructional materials and the
training needed to use the materials well positions teachers to have a greater impact on
student achievement.

  • Teachers who are knowledgeable about the content they are teaching and comfortable with the materials they are using are more likely to be effective in the classroom.
  • Educators cannot be expected to move from one set of instructional materials to another overnight. Whether they have been in the classroom for years or are new to the profession, teachers need training and support to implement new materials aligned to revised standards.
  • High-quality instructional materials are designed to help build a teacher’s content knowledge, provide guidance to inform lesson planning, and offer structures to support collaboration with other teachers.
  • The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative highlights high-quality, standards aligned instructional materials that best align with state standards.

Teachers know that many of the materials they have currently do not meet student needs and they are taking action to fill in the gaps.

  • Today, 73% of U.S. teachers say they are using materials found online more than they use hardcover textbooks. More than 93% of teachers report frequently using their own or locally-developed materials.
  • Searching for supplemental materials can be exhausting, given the vast amount of content available online and the wide range of quality. Instructional coherence can be lost when materials from multiple sources are used. This compounds the difficulties teachers face and can result in inequity for our students.
  • Commercially-developed instructional materials may be marketed as aligned with state standards, however, independent reviews of the materials indicate that is not always the case. EdReports, an independent nonprofit, has identified a small number of ELA and mathematics materials that meet expectations for alignment and quality.
  • The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative maximizes administrators’, curriculum directors’, teacher leaders’, and teachers’ time by highlighting high quality, standards-aligned instructional materials. That way, more time can be spent on strategies that support effective implementation and less time can be spent on selecting materials.

Selecting high-quality instructional materials does not have to be a guessing game—
there are resources focused on informing this decision.

  • Rubrics have been developed to support educators in evaluating the quality of lessons and full-year sets of instructional materials. The EQuIP rubric and the IMET tool are examples of tools that are used to determine the quality of instructional materials.
  • The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative utilizes EdReports, an independent, nonprofit designed specifically to help teachers,  administrators, and leaders to seek, identify, and demand the highest-quality instructional materials. They work with expert educators from around the country to conduct evidence-based reviews of instructional materials and publish their findings to inform local decision making.
  • Guidance documents and resources included in the Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative inform and support local decision making by ensuring instructional materials meet Nebraska’s expectations for quality and alignment.
  • The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative features resources and professional development for instructional materials aligned to Nebraska’s English Language Arts Standards and Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics. Eventually, resources will be added for science and social studies.

Transitioning to high-quality instructional materials can be a cost-effective school
improvement strategy.

  • Adopting high-quality materials is no more expensive than replenishing substandard materials. This is a highly effective and ultimately cost-neutral strategy.
  • Today, many high-quality materials are available online for free as open educational resources. Therefore, switching to these materials may actually save money in the long-term.