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Teachers, Texbook Adoptions, and the Common Core

Louisiana officials appear to be passing for now on new textbooks, claiming they're not fully aligned with the common-core state standards, I report over at the Curriculum Matters blog.

I wanted to put the link to that item here for my Teacher Beat readers, too, because one of the things I hear over and over from teachers is that they want model lesson plans and curricular units that will help them orient their instruction toward the standards. This is not merely a matter for new or inexperience teachers, but for any teacher who wants support in making changes to how they do their work. When it comes to curricula, seeing, it appears, is believing.

As this particular decision makes clear, states and districts right now have two main options regarding common-core curricula: Either to adopt materials now that will get the ball rolling, but run the risk of selecting materials that align superficially or incompletely (states such as New Mexico and Oregon have taken this path); or, wait until better materials are available, and run the risk of leaving teachers empty-handed (essentially, Louisiana's path).

The choice has implications for what the state will do with professional development, what the implications will be for the textbook publishers (who have been put on notice, in the Pelican state, at least); and for other states or districts who face adoptions in 2013 and beyond.

Common-core curricula and its implications for teaching is a story for all of us to pay attention to. Send your thoughts, tips, and hints our way.

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