April 1, 2020
It is important to know all of the options available in the instructional materials market before narrowing the list of programs to investigate. Often there are products that an adoption committee has never heard of and that would be well-suited for the district and its priorities. There are products from large publishers, small publishers, open education resources, and emerging titles that districts can consider. (Learn about what programs exist and how they measure up to standards expectations in our report center. The compare feature is a great place to start.)
However, districts do not have time or capacity to take a deep dive in each available option, as every set of materials you review will require a heavy investment of time and consideration. One of the most important steps in the adoption process is to winnow the field to a manageable number of programs so that committees can review each potential set of materials in depth.
Once you have learned about all of the programs available, you need to narrow the choices to a select few that you will focus your investigation on in the next step. This resource provides guiding questions that can be used to support adoption teams in the first round of Step 3: Know and Winnow Your Choices.
We recommend you narrow your list to 3-4 options that will potentially meet the needs of your district. As part of your desk research, use the EdReports compare feature and read reports to learn more about how well materials meet expectations for alignment and other characteristics of quality and contact other districts or experts to gather anecdotal information about programs. Then use these guiding questions to help your committee narrow the list of options and prepare to focus your investigation in Step 4: Investigate the Materials.