Publishers??? Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy

Within
weeks of the release of the Common Core standards, publishers had already begun
to market their “CCSS-aligned” textbooks and other curricular materials. What
that label meant, however, was open to much debate. David Coleman and Sue
Pimentel, who played central roles in developing the Common Core standards for
English language arts, are now tackling the challenge of providing criteria by
which to gauge curricular alignment with those standards. Their newly released
criteria are intended to guide curriculum writers genuinely intent on aligning
their materials to the CCSS and to act as a resource for teachers, schools, and
districts as they navigate the already crowded market of supposedly aligned materials.
While the guidelines do include criteria for everything ranging from writing
and grammar to research, the bulk of the guidance is focused on reading. With
these publishers’ criteria, Coleman and Pimentel are providing some necessary
order to the Wild West of CCSS materials. But their good work has one big
limitation: Their criteria don’t offer
the kinds of specific examples that could help not only set the bar for
curriculum developers, but also provide teachers and curriculum directors a
touch point to better understand what such material should actually look like. Even
so, these new criteria may serve to limit the number of publishers who can
claim the CCSS-aligned label—and that is an important first step.

The unabridged version of this piece originally appeared on Fordham's Flypaper blog. To
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David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, “Publishers’ Criteria
for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy,
Grades K-2
,” (Available online, June 2011).

David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, “Publishers’ Criteria
for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy,
Grades 3-12
,” (Available online, June 2011).

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