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


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.

Teacher and kids school learning ecology gardening. Image credit: iStock

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.


Cropped shot of a group of unrecognizable

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


New State Strategic Plans Zero In on Learning Recovery

This NASBE analysis looks at 49 state strategic plans and finds many target learning recovery and other pandemic-related education issues.
A diverse group of preschoolers in a classroom i

Preschool for All

The state role in early education keeps growing. This Standard details the ways that states have expanded access to quality preschool, the research that supports these efforts, and the growing pains these initiatives are likely to experience.
Photo Credit: iStock i

Six Questions to Advance Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship

Adolescents consume a lot of screen media, which exposes them to potentially harmful media messages that impacts their physical, mental, and social well-being. Read how some states are equipping students with skills to navigate a complex media landscape.

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