A new organization calling itself the “Consumer Reports” of K-12 textbooks has issued its first analysis of classroom materials in the age of the Common Core State Standards, and it found most of the materials lacking.
EdReports.org, a non-profit organization, looked at 20 sets of K-8 math materials in widespread use around the country and found just one series — Eureka Math for grades K-8 — met its criteria for being properly aligned with the Common Core for all grade levels. The organization first released its findings Wednesday morning.
The speedy adoption of the Common Core in 43 states and D.C. has created great demand for new curricular materials to help educators teach to the new standards. Several recent analyses have found that while many academic publishers slap a “Common Core aligned” label on their books and teaching materials, few actually follow the new standards.
“We created EdReports.org to provide educators a trusted resource for rigorous, independent and public reviews of the alignment and usability of classroom curricula, a sort of ‘Consumer Reports’ for school materials,” said Eric Hirsch, EdReports.org’s executive director.
Among some of the organization’s other findings:
● My Math, published by McGraw-Hill, met the alignment criteria in grades 4 and 5
●Four series had at least one grade that partially met the alignment criteria:
●Go Math (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Grades 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8
●Expressions (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Grades K, 1, and 2
●Digits (Pearson): Grades 6 and 8
●Math in Focus (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Grade 8
The Common Core State Standards spell out the skills and knowledge that students should possess in reading and math at the end of each grade. They do not dictate how the standards should be taught or what materials should be used; those decisions are largely left to local school districts.
To analyze the K-8 math materials on the market, EdReports.org hired teachers with an average of 15 years of classroom experience to join math experts in examining the texts.
The initial report posted Wednesday examined materials that have at least a 10 percent market share and were endorsed by at least two states that said the materials were aligned with the Common Core. The free, online reviews are available at www.EdReports.org.
EdReports.org next plans to review high school math and K-12 English Language Arts materials.
Funding for EdReports.org comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which played a major role in the development and promotion of the Common Core, as well as several other philanthropic organizations, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.