Overcoming Challenges of Standards Alignment

districts should ensure that the material is aligned to as many of the state standards for the course as possible .

While some supplemental materials address all state standards, many others are designed to address a subset of the standards or to provide skills practice. When purchasing supplemental materials, districts should make sure that the material is aligned to all of the standards to which it claims to be aligned and/or will be used to teach.

Even if a material is aligned to 100% of the standards (meaning that there is at least one citation aligned to the three Cs for every state standard), it is still likely that some of the citations listed in

the publisher’s correlation or in the material’s search -by-standard function are not aligned. As explained in the introduction to this paper, this is because some publishers have a more generous definition of alignment than teachers do. Other publishers intentionally scaffold instruction across multiple chapters or units of the material. Thus, even if the district determines that a material is aligned to all of the state’s standards, it is still critical for teachers to check the alignment of the individual citations they intend to use in their lessons. If teachers use citations that are not aligned to the standards they are teaching, their students will not learn all of the content and skills the standards require them to learn, and their learning gaps will be evident in their performance on the state assessments.


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