The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

January 2024Volume 24, No. 1
Curriculum That Counts


State leaders have long viewed the selection of curriculum and materials as local decisions that fall outside the state policy orbit. Yet state learning standards and classroom materials often do not align, creating inequitable opportunities for all students to master state standards. Through a variety of policies, states are increasingly seeking to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum. A handful are requiring or encouraging schools and districts to adopt quality curriculum and gearing professional learning toward using quality materials to improve student achievement. Authors in this issue draw lessons from these varied state strategies and encourage state leaders to apply what they have learned from the successes in improved reading and math curriculum to other critical subject areas.


Business people sitting on books with text reading: State Education Standard, Curriculum That Counts, and January 2024. Image credit: iStock


Articles



Portrait of senior woman holding a book in the library. Image credit: iStock

What Role Do States Play in Selecting K-12 Textbooks?

By Julia Kaufman and Sy Doan

A network of states move the needle on quality without usurping local control.





Tree growing on open textbook with doodle for educational investment and success concept. Image credit: iStock

The Unrealized Promise of High-Quality Instructional Materials

By David Steiner

Overcoming barriers to faithful implementation requires changing teacher and leader mind-sets.





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The State of K-12 Science Curriculum

By Eric Hirsch and Sam Shaw

While the availability of aligned, high-quality materials lags what science standards demand, states can press the market for better ones.






Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock

How Background Knowledge Builds Good Readers and Why Knowledge Building ELA Curricula Are Vital

By Ruth Wattenberg

A common base of content knowledge and coherent, comprehensive, and sequential curricula to deliver it are prerequisites for reading comprehension. Most students are not getting what they need.






Opinion



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A Trip to the Theater

By Andrew Rotherham

As you engage in standards making on your state board, expect no credit, but keep your head down and stay focused on substance.





Shot of a student struggling with schoolwork in a classroom

Doing More by Doing Less

By Lu Young

State boards ought to be reckoning with how to value and support teaching as a profession and an art.





Colorful paper in multiple stages of turning into an origami bird

Five Change Management Principles Can Spur Uptake of Quality Curriculum

By Paolo DeMaria

Change management requires authentic, context-informed practices that are more social and emotional than technical in nature.







Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
Credit: istock i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
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Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

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