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Text-Review Group Shares First Look at Its Process

Praise, for many teachers, comes more naturally than criticism.

That dynamic was on full display throughout the weekend training held here by EdReports.org, a nonprofit organization that will begin publishing Consumer Reports-style reviews of curricula and textbooks early next year. The Oct. 25 session offered an early, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the teacher-driven review process, which could eventually have far-reaching consequences for classrooms, district purchasers, and publishers.

Nearly 40 teachers and instructional leaders from across the country gathered for guidance on how to evaluate classroom mathematics materials that claim to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards. One group of reviewers, which has been scrutinizing instructional materials for EdReports.org in small teams since August, participated in “cross-team calibration,” presenting its initial ratings and offering each other feedback. A floor below, a second group—new to the process—learned to use the EdReports.org evaluation tool.