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ELA Instructional Materials FAQ

​Access a complete version of the information below that includes links to a multitude of resources.

Why consider new materials for ELA/ELD? Why now?

California is deep in the process of revising, redesigning, and reengineering its content standards and frameworks — across disciplines. Common themes are emerging across all related to equity, learning, and teaching that prepare students for college, career, and life. The ELA/ELD standards and framework are consistent with these AND provide guidance and support for developing strong language and literacy in every discipline. Aligned to the expectation that all students can achieve their highest potential, the ELA/ELD Framework brings the two sets of standards together for the first time in history. The ELA and ELD standards focus on the "what" students are learning. The ELA/ELD Framework explains the "how" and is grounded in principles and beliefs of high expectations for all students, equity and access, and shared responsibility:

  1. Schooling should help all students achieve their highest potential

  2. The responsibility for learners’ literacy and language development is shared

  3. ELA/literacy and ELD curricula should be well designed, comprehensive, and integrated

  4. Effective teaching is essential to student success

  5. Motivation and engagement play crucial roles in learning

What are the important considerations in California that impact materials selection for ELA/ELD?

California has established a new, revised process for adopting instructional materials for ELA and ELD that reflects the vision and thinking around both the content of ELA and ELD. First, the guidelines for selection focus on the content, what students are expected to learn according to the ELA and ELD Standards. Second, California has organized the process around five program types:

  1. Basic ELA (TK - 8)

  2. Basic ELA/ELD (TK - 8)

  3. Basic Biliteracy/ELD (TK - 8)

  4. Intensive Intervention (grades 4 - 8)

  5. Specialized Designated ELD (grades 4 - 8)

District Choice  

In this era of local control, the state process for materials selection affords districts great latitude in the selection of quality, standards-aligned instructional materials. A district may choose from the State-vetted and SBE-adopted list of recommended materials, or conduct its own independent review and choose other standards-aligned materials. This is an opportunity for districts to customize and align instructional materials to meet the needs of their specific local context.

Regardless of the option districts choose, the resulting composition of instructional materials identified for ELA/ELD must collectively address all of the standards at the given grade levels or courses/content areas. This can be through one set of publisher materials or a combination of materials from several sources, including district-created materials. The format of instructional materials may include print, technology-based, or a combination of both. Additional considerations include funding, LCAP priorities, selection process timelines and Williams. 

What are the key district considerations that impact this materials selection for ELA/ELD?

In addition to understanding the ELA/ELD standards and framework, and the California guidelines and requirements, it is crucial to understand the local context in order to select the best resources and materials to serve students and support teachers now, and for years to come. Best done BEFORE the committees are formed, districts may leverage opportunities to reflect​, reset and redirect:


    • What is our vision for teaching and learning for each and every student?


    • Who are our students? What do they need for their learning?

    • Will we plan and design for our diverse programs, student groups, and needs  from the beginning?

Teachers and Leaders

    • How do we view the role of the teacher and the role of the materials?

    • Do our leaders and teachers understand the framework and standards?  What is needed for their learning?

Curriculum and Instruction

    • What have we invested in already? (PL, resources, units of study, etc.)

    • What materials will promote/support our vision for teaching and learning?

Scenarios: Consider these scenarios...where is your district on the continuum?

Think of these scenarios as a continuum to help determine your current state and the types of instructional materials you may wish to consider.  

  1. We’ve invested heavily in district curriculum maps, tools to guide instruction, and related professional learning that will be continued.

    • ​We may be looking for materials to complement, complete, or augment this district work to address the framework and all standards. 

  2. ...somewhere in between…

  3. We’ve continued to use previously adopted materials that serve as the key driver for instruction. Professional learning may have been determined by individual schools.

  4. ​​We may be looking for a more comprehensive and cohesive set of  materials to address all of the new standards and framework.

​​​What is the process we will use to determine our needs and select materials?

Selection Committee:

Be transparent and inclusive of stakeholders - including teachers, leaders, parents, and community — to select instructional materials. The process may include:

  • Clearly identifying the scope of the materials to be selected.

    • Grades-spans, courses, student groups, multiple languages, etc.

    • Supplemental materials (e.g. classroom libraries, supplemental resources, etc.) in addition to core instructional materials.

    • Comprehensive programs,  components, text sets, etc.

  • Establish materials selection timeline: PL, committees, meetings, review, recommendation to district board, procurement.

  • Establish selection committee(s).

  • Identify pilot committee/teachers, IF piloting.

  • Identify tools, evaluation rubrics, and resources to be used by the committee.

  • Determine logistics, norms, etc.

Toolkit tips:  Use the CCSESA Toolkit to assist in committee selection and timelines

  • See CCSESA Toolkit, p. 6, for guidelines on committee selection.

  • See CCSESA Toolkit, p. 5, for suggested times for each section.

  • See CCSESA Toolkit, pp. 64 - 66, for pilot guidelines and suggestions.

  • See CCSESA Toolkit, p. 80, for Timeline that can be filled in with your info

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Jennifer Currie
Coordinator, Language Arts

Cherissa Kreider-Beck​
Coordinator, Language Arts

Cynthia Craft 
Coordinator, Language Arts