Sep 7, 2021

Supporting Educators With High Quality Instructional Materials: Part 1 – The Framework

John White
Elementary and Middle School kids smiling and giving thumbs-up

The Region 5 Comprehensive Center offers the first blog in a three-part series on the development of a process for vetting high-quality instructional materials in Virginia.

Successful implementation of high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) begins with textbook adoption for many states and school districts. But it doesn't end there. Some states have been vetting all instructional materials to accelerate learning inside and outside the classroom, particularly in a post-pandemic environment.

Last year, the Region 5 Comprehensive Center began supporting the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) with revising its primary materials vetting process, which included the development of a broader HQIM review framework. VDOE emphasized the need for curriculum, supplemental resources, open education resources (OER) available online, and classroom resources to reflect its priorities and standards for learning.

Teachers often search broadly for materials to enhance their lesson plans. When designing and developing a framework to support and guide this process, VDOE started by examining its State Board of Education-approved framework for textbooks and primary materials. School divisions also use other instructional resources and OER across content areas. 

Region 5 studied states with similar textbook adoption processes and researched best practices for vetting HQIM, including the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) High-Quality Instructional Materials and Professional Development (IMPD) Network and recent recommendations for remote learning materials

VDOE held a series of stakeholder meetings focused on four content areas: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. When complete, Virginia's HQIM review framework will align to its Standards of Learning, the Profile of a Virginia Graduate, and address the student experience. The process of vetting instructional materials also will assess cultural relevance and responsiveness to support Virginia's revised teacher performance standards and evaluation criteria on culturally responsive teaching and equitable practices. 

Interest in the framework is growing as we refine a vetting process this fall to be reviewed by the State Board of Education in 2022. The framework will be helpful in other content areas as well, including career and technical education and the fine arts. 

For more information on developing a process for vetting HQIM and support, contact the Region 5 Comprehensive Center.