Posts Tagged "Accountability"

Are Your Resources Supporting Your Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap?

On August 15th The Texas Education Agency released 2016 accountability ratings. Student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, and postsecondary readiness are all part of the Texas performance index framework. Many states use the same, or similar, accountability measures. If closing performance gaps is an area of concern, a good place to start is by checking the alignment of instructional materials. 

Students won’t learn what they are not taught. For your students to learn the knowledge and skills the standards require, then your materials (either independently or in the aggregate) must be aligned to 100% of the standards for the grade/subject. You may not have considered that your instructional materials could be part of the problem, particularly if you used state adopted materials. However, keep in mind in Texas, as in other states, “state adopted” does not necessarily mean aligned to 100% of the standards. Moreover, if you are using supplemental or RtI products, are the materials you are using aligned to the standards you are using them to teach? Supplemental products are often not designed to address 100% of the standards. For further information about the importance of alignment see “New (Free) Whitepaper: Why Alignment Matters”.

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Another issue to consider is access to the core instruction in your instructional materials. If you are using online materials do they have internet access to access the core instruction outside of the school day? Publishers often claim that their online materials are downloadable or printable for students who do not have internet access at home. But is the core instruction or are only the supplemental activities available offline?  More often than not, we find that only the supplemental activities are available offline but the core instructional content is not. This can lead to gaps in student learning particularly for economically disadvantaged students who have access to fewer high quality instructional resources and learning opportunities outside of the school day.   

As your district works to close the achievement gap, Learning List’s detailed alignment reports, comparison tools, and technology reviews can assist your work. Call us to find out more.

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How Learning List Helps Districts Become Better Stewards of Taxpayer Funds

[Source: CCJEF]

[Source: CCJEF]

A Texas school district administrator recently stated that his district subscribed to Learning List in order to be good stewards of taxpayer funds. In an NPR interview, a curriculum director of an Ohio school district offered the same explanation for her district’s decision to subscribe. How does Learning List help districts become better stewards of taxpayer funds?

  • 20141216 educational-equityPromotes educational equity. Learning List seeks products to review from large publishers, smaller, boutique publishers and open education resources. Subscribing districts can also request reviews of the materials of greatest interest to them. And, once Learning List reviews a material, the review is available to all subscribers. Thus, if Dallas Independent School District (ISD) requests a review, Dimmit ISD has access to our reviews of the product. So all subscribers have the same product information and selection, regardless of the district’s size or geographic location.
  • Provides cost-effective options. Learning List seeks a wide variety of products to review. Some districts are looking for materials with many different types of support for their teachers and students. Others want a well-aligned consumable print material. And, many schools/districts want materials with features and functionality somewhere in between. Learning List’s mission is to provide high quality reviews of instructional materials offered at various price points to help districts make cost-effective purchases of instructional materials for their students.
  • Stretch-Your-BudgetSaves staff time and school/districts money. Educators in schools and districts across the country spend countless hours reviewing the same instructional materials. In some cases, schools even hire substitutes to free teachers to review materials. Learning List’s in-depth reviews help educators identify the materials with the features and functionality their students need to narrow the number of materials they have to review themselves. As a result, teachers spend less time reviewing materials and have more time to teach.
  • Increases transparency and accountability. Millions of dollars worth of purchased instructional materials go unused each year. Why? Because the materials purchased fail to live up to the publisher’s claims. Learning List’s independent reviews examine the alignment, instructional content and instructional design of each material to help schools/districts avoid purchasing materials that won’t meet their students’ needs. By holding publishers to a higher level of transparency and accountability for their claims, our reviews help educators make better informed purchasing decisions and thus become better stewards of taxpayers’ funds.
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