Polikoff study finds textbooks not aligned to Common Core standards

February 25, 2014
Morgan Polikoff

Dr. Morgan Polikoff

Morgan Polikoff presented a study at the recent Education Writers Association conference at USC that found that several fourth grade math textbooks adopted in Florida that are supposed to be “Common Core aligned” are not aligned to Common Core standards. In a story titled, “Are math textbooks ready for Common Core?“, The Washington Post noted that Polikoff found that, “15 to 20 percent of textbooks cover topics outside the Common Core standards, while 10 to 15 percent of the standards are not reflected in the texts.” Polikoff said that the books were missing questions and problems that would help students attain higher levels of cognitive demand. A related story in The Journal, “Report: Florida Textbooks not Aligned to Common Core,” said that Polikoff wrote that there is “essentially zero” content focused on the top two levels of cognitive demand despite their 11 percent representation in the standar ds.

In a related story in the Tampa Bay Times, “Bill Gives School Districts Total Control of Textbook Purchases,” Polikoff noted that centralized state textbook adoption can help sort through the many considerations involved in choosing a textbook. Districts “do the best they can,” he said, “but it’s a very difficult task to look at a bunch of textbooks and try to navigate all of those dimensions.”