More Bad News for Math-Textbook Publishers From Curriculum Review Site

By Liana Loewus — February 12, 2016 1 min read
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  • Print, the group that bills itself as the Consumer Reports of common-core instructional materials, released analyses of four more textbook series this week—and again the results indicated publishers failed to meet the mark.

The nonprofit EdReports put out its first round of curriculum reviews, looking at K-8 mathematics materials, about a year ago, and the scores overall were dismal. Seventeen of 20 math series reviewed were judged as failing to live up to claims that they were aligned to the Common Core State Standards. However, EdReports soon came under attack for its review methodology, which critics called “shoddy” and “misleading.” The group has since changed its process and upped some of those ratings. Its criteria for measuring materials against the standards, the group says, are based on extensive input from the math-education field.

Yesterday, reviews were posted online for the following textbook series: Connecting Math Concepts (grades K-5) by publisher McGraw-Hill; Glencoe (grades 6-8) also by McGraw-Hill; MathLinks (6-8) by the Center for Mathematics and Teaching; and Springboard (6-8) by the College Board.

None of those curricula were found to fully meet its criteria for alignment to the common-core standards, EdReports found.

Glencoe, MathLinks, and Springboard met some of the criteria at some grade levels. Connecting Math Concepts did not meet any of the criteria at all.

The publishers are given the opportunity to respond to the reviews in a letter, which is then posted on the EdReports website along with the rating. Regarding the Connecting Math Concepts textbooks, McGraw-Hill wrote: “Rigorous field testing confirms success for students whether used as a core math program or intensive instruction for students at-risk.” You can find the other publisher letters on the EdReports website.

EdReports says it is releasing reviews of eight more K-8 math curricula in the coming weeks and months. This spring it will move on to high school math and English/language arts materials.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.