Policy Documents

Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness, and the Common Core

Matthew Chingos, Grover Whitehurst –
April 10, 2012

There is strong evidence that instructional materials play a pivotal role in student learning and, compared to more popular reforms like merit pay and school turnarounds, changing them for the better is easy, inexpensive, and quick, conclude Matthew Chingos and Grover Whitehurst in a report for the Brookings Institution. At the same time, very little research has been done on available curriculum to determine its effectiveness, and it’s practically impossible to determine what curriculum is the most widely used since no one keeps such statistics. Without more information on what curriculum schools use and how well it instructs students, initiatives like the Common Core State Standards  will not improve learning and the core of student learning will continue to be ignored, to student detriment.