Research tells us that high-quality, aligned instructional materials is important in helping teachers support their students in mastering the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to be college and career ready.
But too often, teachers do not have access to the tools and materials they need to grow and improve their practice and to best support their students. In fact, a study by the RAND Corporation finds that teachers take precious time hunting for high-quality instructional materials, turning to sites like Google and Pinterest. Similarly, through its evidence-based reviews, our partner EdReports.org finds that instructional materials are not always aligned to high standards.
That’s why, at the foundation we are excited about the work of partners and grantees who are working to get high-quality, aligned instructional tools in the hands of teachers, including:
- EdReports: EdReports.org is an independent nonprofit that publishes free reviews of instructional materials, using an educator-designed tool that measures alignment, usability, and other quality criteria. The reports help districts and educators make informed purchasing and instructional decisions that support improved student outcomes.
- Big History Project: Co-created by teachers, students, curriculum experts, and a dedicated team of tech developers, Big History Project aims to provide a world class, ready-for-the-classroom resource available to everyone, everywhere. For free.
- Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
- New Visions for Public Schools: Dedicated to sharing innovative tools, strategies and lessons learned in New Visions schools with others in New York and throughout the country to prove that meaningful change is achievable at scale and success is possible for every child.
- Open Up Resources: Open Up Resources is dedicated to broadening access to excellent content and materials, in order to empower all students and teachers.
- UnboundEd: UnboundEd provides free, standards-aligned resources and immersive training for teachers and school leaders.
- Zearn: Zearn Math is personalized digital lessons and small group teaching and learning. Zearn partners with teachers so that every child can learn and love math.
States and school districts around the country—like Louisiana and Duval County in Florida—are aligning instructional materials to high standards and adopting tools to support teaching.
Most importantly: coupled with professional learning, a focus on aligned instructional materials is having a positive impact on student learning. Louisiana’s fourth-grade students achieved the highest growth among all states in reading and the second highest growth in math (2015 NAEP).
Learn more in the latest Momentum.