Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review criteria, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports review tools and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team professional learning communities to ensure that the review tools are being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Review Criteria Design

The EdReports review criteria supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Step 1 Step 2 Result: Alignment Rating
The reviewed materials Meet Expectations for Gateway 1 AND Meet Expectations for
Gateway 2
Meet Expectations
BUT either Partially Meet or Do Not Meet the expectations for Gateway 2 Partially Meet Expectations
The reviewed materials Partially Meet Expectations for Gateway 1 AND Meet Expectations for Gateway 2 Partially Meet Expectations
BUT Partially Meets expectations for Gateway 2 Partially Meet Expectations
BUT Do Not Meet the expectations for Gateway 2 Do Not Meet Expectations
The reviewed materials Do Not Meet the expectations for Gateway 1 If it Does Not Meet Expectations for Gateway 1 the material is not reviewed for Gateway 2 Do Not Meet Expectations

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Tools and Reports

  • Review Tools - EdReports Review Tools are the combination of Review Criteria and a corresponding Evidence Guide.
    • The Review Criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The criteria support a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.
    • The Evidence Guide complements the criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.
  • Indicator - Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion - Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway - Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating - Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability - Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA Foundational Skills Criteria and Evidence Guides

The ELA foundational skills review criteria identifies the indicators for high quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

The ELA foundational skills review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction

  • Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

NOTE: The ELA foundational skills review criteria contains only two gateways. The structural pieces that we normally review as a part of Gateway 3 (e.g. differentiation) in our comprehensive reviews are critical to the success of a program, and are, therefore, interspersed and combined with other indicators in Gateway 2.

ELA K-2 Criteria and Evidence Guides

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

ELA K-2 (No Foundational Skills) Criteria and Evidence Guides

NOTE: These review tools are intended to be used for comprehensive programs that do not contain a foundational skills component and are instead designed to be implemented with a supplement.

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

ELA 3-8 Criteria and Evidence Guides

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

ELA High School Criteria and Evidence Guides

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

Math K-8 Criteria and Evidence Guides

The K-8 review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For math, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Focus and Coherence

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The K-8 Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

Math High School Criteria and Evidence Guides

The high school review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For math, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Focus and Coherence

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The High School Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

Science K-5 Criteria and Evidence Guides

The science review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then considers other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For science, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning

  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning

  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions

  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

To best read our reports we recommend utilizing the Codes for NGSS Elements document that provides the code and description of elements cited as evidence in each report.

Science 6-8 Criteria and Evidence Guides

The science review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then considers other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For science, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning

  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning

  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions

  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

To best read our reports we recommend utilizing the Codes for NGSS Elements document that provides the code and description of elements cited as evidence in each report.