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Instructional Materials Evaluation and Adoption - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

Instructional Materials Evaluation and Adoption Process

The State Board of Education (SBE) has constitutional authority to adopt textbooks for grades one through eight (Article IX, Section 7.5 of the California Constitution). California Education Code (EC) sections 60200–60204 describe the process for the adoption of instructional materials for kindergarten through grade eight (K–8) and mandate that submitted materials be evaluated for consistency with the criteria and standards in the SBE’s curriculum frameworks. The Curriculum Commission serves as an advisory body to the SBE in the evaluation and adoption process. Instructional materials are broadly defined to include textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational materials, and tests. The SBE traditionally adopts only basic instructional materials programs (i.e., programs that are designed for use by pupils and their teachers as a principal learning resource and meet the basic organization and content requirements of a full course of study, which is generally one school year in length).

Primary adoptions, which are the first adoptions following the approval of new state frameworks, are conducted every six years for the four core curriculum areas: reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and history–social science. EC Section 60200.1(a)(2) reset the base-year schedule for these adoptions as follows: history–social science (1999), science (2000), mathematics (2001), and reading/language arts (2002). The second cycle of adoptions ended with the 2008 reading/language arts adoption. Primary adoptions in foreign language, visual and performing arts, and health are to be conducted every eight years. In all cases, a follow-up adoption (using the same evaluation criteria) is to be scheduled between adoptions. Follow-up adoptions were conducted in 2005 in mathematics, reading/language arts, and foreign language.

The entire instructional materials adoption process was significantly affected by the passage of the education trailer bill Senate Bill 4 of the 2009-10 Third Extraordinary Session (SBX3 4) (Chapter 12, Statutes of 2009) and Assembly Bill 2 of the 2009-10 Fourth Extraordinary Session (ABX4 2). These bills suspended the SBE’s responsibility to develop curriculum frameworks or adopt instructional materials until the 2013-14 school year. Currently, no new adoption schedule has been signed into law.

As with the framework development process, the adoption process is designed to ensure broad public participation. The adoption process involves three concurrent steps:

Both panels receive training on the SBE-adopted criteria and individually review submitted programs. IMRs and CREs prepare a joint report of findings and formulate a recommendation on each submission. The IMR/CRE recommendations are compiled by the CDE into a document titled “IMR/CRE Report of Findings” that is forwarded to the Curriculum Commission. Commissioners consider the report of findings and also conduct their own individual and independent reviews of the submitted programs. The commission then develops a written Curriculum Commission Advisory Report containing recommendations on each submission, which is forwarded to the SBE for action.

The SBE considers the recommendations, related documents, and public comments prior to adopting or not adopting each submission. The commission’s report is modified as necessary to reflect the SBE’s action, and the final document is widely distributed and posted on the Internet.

Lists of all publisher’s programs adopted by the SBE are available on the CDE Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Materials Web page.

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | CFIRD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
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