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Common-Core Alignment Tool: Looking at Grade-Level Textbooks

The toolkit for determining whether publishers' instructional materials are aligned to the Common Core State Standards has grown once again. 

Yesterday, the Council of the Great City Schools put out a series of rubrics, separated by grade level, to help schools and educators decide if the reading and math curriculum materials they're using meet the common core's expectations.

Here's a page from the English/language arts rubric for 3rd grade:

GIMET alignment.JPG
The tool is based on another evaluation tool created by Student Achievement Partners, the professional-development group founded by the common-core writers, that is used to assess whole textbooks and textbook series. The Council's new tool (known as the Grade-Level Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool, or GIMET) looks at each grade level separately. Teachers can use it to see where a textbook falls short and supplementary materials might be necessary. 


Achieve, the nonprofit that helped launch the common standards, also has a materials-vetting system called EQuIP—but that one is for examining individual lessons and units.

The newest tool comes on the heels of a widely viewed release by EdReports.org, a website that purports to be the Consumer Reports of common-core classroom materials. (EdReports.org differs from GIMET in that it is not a rubric or tool but a set of completed evaluations.) The first round of reviews, which looked at K-8 math materials, found that nearly all of the curricula by the major publishers were not aligned to the common standards. The EdReports.org group has since come under fire for its methodology.

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