Evaluating Writing Curricula

One of the most time-consuming elements of my position is evaluating curricula to bring to our Instructional Planning Committee. Thanks to the new Common Core State Standards, there’s blood in the water – schools are rushing to snatch up Common Core-aligned curriculum.

But how do you know if a program is truly Common Core, or if those words are simply stamped on the front? How will you know whether the program has been written to support the learning required by the Common Core, or whether they’ve simply swapped out your state standards for CCSS standards in the latest edition?

We’ve recognized that asking students to perform well on CC-aligned assessments is unfair and nearly impossible with instruction based in outdated, poorly-written curriculum, so we’re in the market to replace in nearly all subjects. I have looked at 5-7 programs in each subject area and narrowed it down to three that are sufficiently Common Core aligned and suited to our learners. The summaries provided in this document are taken from my time reading samples, reading websites and research support, speaking with sales representatives, professional development coordinators and reading blogs of teachers who have used the product. The analysis represents my own synthesis of this information as applied to our teachers and learners. 

Note: I have not edited this document, so it does include purchasing quotes. Please contact your local sales representative for a more accurate number. Ours was based on 11 classrooms K-5 and 3 classrooms 6-8 with approximately 25 students in each classroom.

For permission to share or adapt this product, please contact me directly.

Stay tuned for my next post:

Curriculum that Empowers – What I’ve learned from looking at 30+ publishers.

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