Let’s Build on Momentum for Expanding Quality Instructional Materials in 2023

This week, I penned a piece in The 74 reflecting on state leadership in expanding quality curriculum and our efforts to highlight that leadership on CurriculumHQ this year. As we’ve worked to collect  resources, stories, and analysis of these efforts, we’ve learned a few key lessons that we’re taking with us into 2023: 

First, states can and should make it smarter, easier, and cheaper for districts and schools to choose and use the best instructional materials – and 14 states are doing just that. Those states offer concrete examples of many strategies that can be tailored to local contexts.

Next, we still have a long way to go. While we should celebrate these leading efforts, the majority of states across the country have lots more work to do in supporting quality instruction – a figure that follows the evidence showing 70% of teachers struggle to find quality materials nationwide.

And finally, CurriculumHQ is one tool for those of us working to change these statistics and support more educators and state leaders: 

  • Our resources page has been informed by dozens of expert partners. Our goal is to elevate – not duplicate – their efforts. Advocates have easy access to a wealth of information and evidence about why and how quality materials help teachers and students.
  • New subject pages for English Language Arts, math, science and professional learning dedicate attention to specific topics in need of continued attention and advocacy. We’ve pulled the relevant information from other parts of our platform together in one place for easy navigating.
  • Our 50-state map is the only tool we know of that offers a quick snapshot of state resources and guidance around quality materials and aligned professional learning. We’ve also reviewed every state ESSER plan and populated the map with highlights where states are dedicating significant recovery funding to the expansion of quality instruction. This allows advocates to compare state efforts and seed ideas for local action. 
  • Not thrilled with what your state is doing? We also have a tool to take action here.

Stay tuned to this space for more resources, stories, and opportunities for advocacy in 2023. 

Jocelyn Pickford is an education policy and communications specialist focusing on understanding and promoting practitioner-informed public policy across the private, public and non-profit sectors as a Senior Affiliate with HCM Strategists. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher in a regular and special education inclusion classroom and is now a public school parent and recent member of her local district school board. Previously, Jocelyn led the design, launch and implementation of the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Education to integrate teachers into the national education policy dialogue. Jocelyn’s passion for her work was seeded during her own public school education and took root during her classroom teaching experience in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she led action research and presented instructional materials to a variety of audiences. Jocelyn earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (CT), working as a professional writer and editor prior to becoming a teacher, and obtained her master’s in secondary education from the George Washington University. Jocelyn lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and two children.