By Morgan S. Polikoff
There is increasing momentum behind the idea that curriculum materials, including textbooks, represent a powerful lever for education reform. As funders are lining up and state leaders are increasing their policy attention on curriculum materials, this report discusses the very real challenges of this effort. The report draws on my experience over the last several years collecting and analyzing textbook adoption data, as well qualitative interviews of school district leaders and teachers. It identifies challenges in three main areas: collecting and analyzing textbook adoption data; encouraging districts to make different adoption decisions; and encouraging teachers to make different use decisions. The report concludes with specific recommendations, which are aimed primarily at state policymakers who seek to use curriculum materials as a policy reform.