Aligned Math Curriculum: The starting point for math success

Mary Donlan

Mary Donlan·– 09/26/2022 1:47pm

In their State of the Instructional Materials Market 2021 report, EdReports notes that 95% of mathematics teachers responded that alignment to state standards is somewhat important or extremely important. But only 40% of mathematics teachers are using aligned math curriculum resources regularly.

Some teachers do not have aligned materials provided by their district; others have the option to use whatever materials they prefer.

Today there is an abundance of online open education resources (OERs) for teachers to use in their classrooms. But using mix-and-match materials found on Pinterest or through Google to build math lessons may not benefit students. And it takes up a lot of a teacher’s time.  

Using unaligned or mix-and-match resources does not allow teachers to take advantage of the coherent structure of the CCSS and state standards that have been developed carefully for coherence and consistency. Because math is a subject that builds, the sequencing of topics and connection to previous lessons is vital.

Also, an aligned curriculum will ensure there are no gaps, ensure prerequisites are included, and the lessons are connected. An aligned core program will address the math practices more often and lead to increased math understanding.

Finally, teachers using their own materials are less likely to receive professional development and training from the school or district.

As the 2022-23 school year begins, districts are facing a lot of challenges. But district and school leaders will serve their math students well if they can provide their teachers high-quality, aligned math curriculum, combined with ongoing coaching and professional development.