Posts Tagged "College Board"

New Review: Bedford, Freeman & Worth’s A History of Western Society Since 1300, for the AP Course (McKay), 12th Edition

BedfordBFW's A History of Western Society (AP European History), Freeman & Worth’s A History of Western Society Since 1300, for the AP Course (McKay), 12th Edition, is a comprehensive product that supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) European History courses.  Content is available in print and digital formats. Instruction emphasizes social and cultural history and the experiences of ordinary people. Learning List has reviewed the product’s print resources.

Core content is organized in four periods that match the College Board’s approach to periodization (e.g., Period 3: c. 1815 to c. 1914). Each period opens with a short overview of the period, discussions of key concepts addressed by instruction (e.g., “Nationalism and Revolutions in a Changing Europe”), and a set of “Understanding AP Themes” questions to guide students’ reading (e.g., “Why did European countries create or expand empires overseas in the nineteenth century?”). The questions reference the relevant thematic learning objectives in the College Board’s course framework.

Periods 2 through 4 contain a “Life” chapter (e.g., “Life in the Emerging Urban Society: 1840-1914”) that explores everyday life and the experiences of ordinary people living during the period.  Life chapters include a “The Past Living Now” essay that explores connections between contemporary life and historical developments and events (e.g., the development of modern sewage systems).

About BFW*

BFW believes that what happens in the classroom matters, and that a good class, a good teacher, and good content have the power to change the world—one student and one idea at a time. BFW products have long been best-sellers for AP courses. Now, in response to the needs of teachers across the country, BFW offers materials for Common Core, elective courses, and on-level programs aligned to NGSS.

Information in this section is provided by or adapted from BFW.


Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material, and thousands of other widely used Pk-12 resources.

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Why College Board is Redesigning the AP Course Frameworks

In case you missed the announcement at the APAC conference  last month, Learning List and the College Board have partnered to provide detailed, independent reviews of Advanced Placement (AP) materials. For each material, Learning List provides three independent reviews, including a detailed review of the material’s alignment to the Learning Objectives and Skills/Practices in the course framework.

The College Board will use Learning List’s reviews to select materials for the Example Textbook Lists for AP math, science and social studies courses.  A material’s inclusion on an Example Textbook List means that the material has some degree of alignment to the course framework; it does not mean that the material is aligned to 100% of the course framework.  This table shows the alignment of materials included on the AP Calculus, Computer Science Principles and World History Example Textbook Lists.

Alignment %s

Learning List’s detailed alignment reports help educators quickly identify (1) the specific Learning Objectives and Skills/Practices to which the material is and is not aligned, and (2) for standards to which the material is aligned, specific pages/lessons that present all the knowledge and skills the standard requires.

This blog post is the first of a series that Learning List will publish to help educators understand the underlying philosophy and components of the course frameworks, as well as trends observed from reviewing AP materials.

pullout of AP BlogIn 2009, the College Board began a 15 year process of replacing the amorphous “course descriptions” for AP courses with far more detailed course frameworks.  The goal of the course frameworks is to strike a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.  

The frameworks reflect feedback from a diverse group of tenured college faculty and department chairs, AP teachers, Discipline Leaders, Academic Organizations, Cognitive Scientists and the public.  The Understanding by Design instructional model and Evidence-Centered Design research serve as the foundation for the new frameworks which specify what students must now and be able to demonstrate on the AP exam.

The courses integrate a set of skills and practices within the content, include a clear articulation of required learning objectives, and provide flexibility to include the kind of in-depth learning experiences that will prepare students for success in college coursework.  

Over the last several years, course frameworks have been developed for AP Biology, Chemistry, Physics I & II, US History, European History, Art History, Human Geography, Seminar and Research courses.  New frameworks for Calculus AB and BC, World History courses and a new Computer Science Principles course will be implemented for the first time this school year.

A subsequent blog post will explain the core components of the redesigned frameworks.


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College Board + Learning List = Partnership

In case you missed it, College Board released this blog.

Learning List: Helping Identify the Best AP Instructional Materials for Your Course

By Liam Julian, Director, AP Instruction Communications


Textbooks and supplementary materials for the classroom are expensive. How can AP Coordinators and teachers choose the best resources for their AP courses?

The College Board has partnered with Learning List, an independent instructional materials review service for schools and districts, to ensure that the materials included on the example textbook lists for the following AP subjects are aligned to the curriculum frameworks:

Art History


Calculus AB and Calculus BC


Computer Science Principles

European History

Human Geography

Physics 1 and Physics 2



U.S. History

World History

On each example textbook list, materials that have been reviewed by Learning List are so noted; example textbooks not reviewed by Learning List are also noted. Other AP subjects’ example textbook lists will be similarly updated in the future.

To ensure the quality of its reviews, Learning List hired as its reviewers many of the AP teachers who helped the College Board develop the new curriculum frameworks. As this brief video explains, three reviews are provided for each instructional material: (1) an overview of the material’s key academic and technology attributes; (2) an in-depth analysis of the material’s instructional content and design; and (3) a review of the material’s alignment to the Learning Objectives, Essential Knowledge statements, and Practices/Skills for the course. Beyond helping educators select new AP instructional materials, the reviews and tools on offer AP teachers ongoing support in using their materials effectively.

About College Board*

college board

[Source: College Board]

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from College Board.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material.

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Learning List Reviews Advanced Placement (AP) Materials to Fuel Student Success

Hundreds of AP teachers from across the country will arrive in Austin, Texas, this week to attend the  AP Annual Conference.  Many will attend sessions with master teachers to learn how to teach the rigorous AP content.  A  criticaadvanced_placementl component to students’ success in AP courses is their instructional materials. The materials must teach students not only the content required for each course, but also the skills the courses are designed to develop.

Districts spend more money to purchase AP products than any other instructional materials. When Learning List started receiving requests for reviews of AP materials, we contacted College Board to inquire whether they review and recommend texts to AP teachers. We were told that College Board does not recommend texts and that they shared our concern that AP materials must align with the course frameworks for AP courses in order to support student success.  They explained that in the past, course descriptions were too general to make an alignment of materials instructionally meaningful.  However, in response to teachers’ requests, over a 15 year schedule, College Board will be publishing new course frameworks that specify the content and skills students are expected to learn and will be tested on for each AP course.

With a shared goal of helping publishers produce materials that will prepare students for success in AP courses, Learning List worked with College Board to develop alignment templates based on the recently rAP reviews image for blogeleased course frameworks.  Learning List now reviews AP materials for alignment to the Learning Objectives (LO) (i.e., what students must be able to do) and separately to the Skills and Practices (i.e., larger transferable skills) contained in the newly revised course frameworks for AP Physics (1 and 2), Chemistry, Biology, World History, European History, and US History.  Reviews of materials for AP Calculus AB and BC will begin this fall.  For Texas subscribers, Learning List also reviews AP texts for alignment to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for the relevant course.

Learning List’s alignment templates not only help educators identify where the materials are or are not aligned, but also provide ongoing professional development to help AP teachers better understand the connections between Learning Objectives and Science Practices in AP science courses and between the Thematic Learning Objectives and Historical Thinking Skills in AP social studies courses.

Recognizing the unique nature of AP courses, Learning List hires subject matter experts (SMEs) who are certified in the subject of the AP course and have experience teaching the course, as well.  Our SMEs report that reviewing AP materials is especially challenging because of the density of the texts.  “One cannot skim over a page or video to see whether a topic is addressed; you have to read all the text to determine whether it is aligned to an LO,” they explained.

Subscribing districts have requested reviews of AP materials from several publishers; Wiley Publishing was the first to submit their products for review.  Wiley representatives commented that Learning List’s review process helped them better understand how educators will use the new course frameworks instructionally, which in turn will help them develop products more closely aligned to the content and skills of the frameworks.  As a result, teachers and students will benefit.

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Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 2)

Note: Each Trademark is Property of its Respective Owner

Note: Each Trademark is Property of its Respective Owner

Earlier this week, we began our series on the 15 questions that are most commonly asked of Learning List by those who develop and deliver content. The series began with the answers to five of those questions. In this installment, we’ll address five more.

  1. Why do I need Learning List if my products have already been reviewed by a state agency and by the general public?

Many state agencies only verify alignment to standards, while Learning List adds an editorial review to that. The review describes the product’s features and highlights important qualitative information about the product, as well as educator reviews and ratings. Additionally, we market to the same schools that publishers do – in ways that they might not be able to. We believe that by having products reviewed by Learning List, a publisher can increase its marketing reach to districts and schools across the country. Finally, can generate sales leads. On each review, we place a link to the publisher’s website in order to drive high quality sales leads from subscribers that have already read the reviews. To ensure that the information on Learning List is as robust and informative as possible, we actively invite publisher participation. Participating publishers provide us the correlation to the standards and advise us which customers to interview for the editorial review as well as which reference districts to list. Additionally, publishers can preview the editorial review and alignment report in order to correct any errors before reviews go live on the Learning List service.

  1. If we chose not to submit, why is there a review of one of our products on Learning

Learning List exists to provide districts with unbiased, independent information about instructional materials to enable them to choose the materials that can best meet students’ needs. When a district requests the review of a specific product, we contact the publisher and invite that publisher to submit the product for review. If the publisher declines to participate in the review, Learning List will attempt to review the product using publicly available information. While Learning List invites and values publisher participation, we are committed to responding to each districts’ needs. The reviews on Learning List clearly indicate if the publisher did not participate. Publishers that do not participate are offered a one-week period to preview the reviews before they are active on Learning List.

  1. Can I withdraw a product if I’m not happy with the results of the review?

No. Because Learning List begins investing its resources in the review as soon as a product is uploaded, a product may not be withdrawn once it is submitted. However, participating publishers do have a lot of input into the reviews. Learning List’s alignment process begins with the publisher’s correlation. Furthermore, the editorial reviews utilize feedback provided by the publisher and the publisher’s customers, as well as from Learning List’s subject-matter-experts. Publishers are able to preview the reviews before they are published, correct errors in the editorial reviews, and submit additional citations for Learning List to review for alignment.

  1. Does Learning List review for coverage of only the TEKS standards?

Currently, Learning List verifies alignment to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and College Board AP framework.

  1. How long does the entire process take?

Once a product is submitted and Learning List receives all necessary information, the final reviews are published on within about 30 days of receiving the comprehensive materials.

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