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What is the Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative?
How is curriculum being defined? Instructional materials?
A curriculum is determined locally and reflects “how” teachers help students learn the content within content area standards. A curriculum outlines the intended outcomes, content, experiences, assessments, and resources for measuring student learning, and it also includes the scope and sequence of what is taught in grades K-12. Instructional materials are the tools and resources that are used as part of a locally-determined curriculum.
Why the focus on high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials?
Additionally, when students receive instruction from instructional materials not aligned to state standards, the opportunity to learn decreases. For example, middle school students using high-quality instructional materials receive the equivalent of an additional eight months of learning versus students using low-quality materials. Furthermore, when high-quality materials were combined with professional development, students gained four months of learning over two years versus comparison groups (Taylor et al., 2015). This research supports the claim that high-quality instructional materials create additional opportunities for students to learn.
Why not just rely on the content teachers can find online or create for themselves?
High-quality instructional materials provide a clear roadmap for delivering effective lessons and provide a solid starting point for personalized instruction. With easy access to reliable, engaging, high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials, teacher reliance on online resources won’t need to be as urgent, and supplemental materials sourced online can still be used to complement lessons, as needed.
Does this mean the Nebraska Department of Education will decide what instructional materials districts should select?
What is EdReports? Why does the NIMC use EdReport reviews?
Nebraska is included in the national marketplace for instructional materials, and with limited capacity, it would be difficult for Nebraska to conduct similar reviews in such a thorough manner. EdReports reviewers look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that instructional materials are considered in full. Review teams touch every page of the series and look for the presence of standards, how well the standards are sequenced, the depth with which standards are included, and other important characteristics of high-quality instructional materials. These comprehensive reviews are evidence-rich. No other review process provides as much detail about how materials meet or do not meet the criteria, including specific examples from the programs.
The instructional materials that my district uses are not reviewed by EdReports. What does this mean?
Should we adopt new materials because of revised state standards?
It is important to determine if the instructional materials currently used are strongly aligned to revised state standards. Instructional materials selected prior to the revision of ELA, mathematics, and science standards may not reflect the instructional shifts included in revised standards
What should we do if we discover our instructional materials are not strongly aligned to state standards? Should we select new materials?
EdReports uses a color coding system to signal the quality of reviewed materials:
Green: Meets expectations for alignment (HQ-IM)
Yellow: Partially meets expectations for alignment
Red: Does not meet expectation for alignment
If you discover your instructional materials do not meet expectations for alignment, the EdReports reviews can provide additional information regarding the misalignment. In some instances, supplemental resources may be available for materials that are not strongly aligned. Student Achievement Partners has developed free resources that can be used to supplement some instructional materials. If supplemental resources are not available, districts should consider selecting a higher-quality set of materials. To offset the cost of purchasing new materials, many publishers have opted to produce instructional materials that are free and open. This includes instructional materials that meet the expectations for alignment and quality, as reviewed by EdReports.