The California State Board of Education (SBE) adopts content standards in the different curriculum areas to meet the requirements of state and federal law. The SBE also adopts curriculum frameworks for kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) in accordance with EC Section 51002, which calls for the development of “broad minimum standards and guidelines for educational programs.” Taken together, the content standards and curriculum frameworks describe what educators, content experts, and professionals in the field expect K–12 students to know and be able to do.
The frameworks provide direction to publishers in the criteria for the evaluation of instructional materials. These criteria are used to select, through the state adoption process set forth in EC sections 60200-60206, instructional materials for kindergarten through grade eight (K–8).
School districts have the authority and the responsibility to conduct their own evaluation of instructional materials and to adopt the materials that best meet the needs of their students. A school district may use instructional materials not adopted by the SBE, so long as the materials are aligned to the state standards and there is a selection process that is thoroughly planned, conducted publicly, and well documented. At every step the district must adhere to EC Section 60002 which states: “Each district board shall provide for substantial teacher involvement in the selection of instructional materials and shall promote the involvement of parents and other members of the community in the selection of instructional materials.”
The process for selection of instructional materials is as follows:
• Formation of teacher and administrator committee
• Review of current program in the appropriate content area
• Review of adoption options
• Establishment of district lens*
• Pilot of materials
• Evaluation of materials by students and teachers
• Parent presentations for review and evaluation of materials
• Synthesis and analysis of evaluations
• Committee recommendation to the Board of Education and Board approval
• Purchase of materials
• Professional development
*The district lens is a document that is created to help spell out the goals of our instructional program in each content area.