This action item is a part of a suite of instructional resources adoption action items. Together, these action items provide a holistic presentation of the hands-on tools that will support our teachers in delivering classroom instruction and help students better understand and apply what they are learning.
Why is this contract needed?
The District is seeking new core instructional resources to include in our inclusive curriculum in the subject areas of PreK -12 Math, PreK-12 English Language Arts (ELA), PreK-12 Science, Grades 3-12 English Language Development (ELD), and K-12 Special Education. These instructional resources are critically important because they are hands-on tools that support our teachers in delivering classroom instruction and help students better understand and apply what they are learning. Students must have access to consistent, coherent, research-based instructional resources to support their academic achievement.
There are more than 21,000 English Learners (ELs) across the District, which is 18.2% of the District’s total enrollment. Given the growing number of ELs - an average increase of 1,500 ELs annually and a staggering 3,000+ increase this school year - understanding and serving this population effectively is a critical step towards education equity. To this end, ELs must be provided instructional programs that accomplish two fundamental goals: 1) access to rigorous grade-level academic content standards, and 2) English language development to support their growth towards proficiency in academic English. There is a need for a robust ELD core curriculum that will support our language instruction program models, including specialized instruction for Newcomers (1st year in U.S. schools, levels 1-2), Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE), and long-term ELs (ELs with over five years in ESL program).
The District is now presented with a monumental opportunity to invest in high-quality core instructional resources that not only align with the Common Core State Standards and best practices but also meet our rigorous standards for cultural and linguistic inclusivity. Moreover, implementing a textbook adoption process with fidelity and investing in updated instructional resources responds to the resounding feedback provided by various stakeholders in the Listening and Learning sessions and the Transition Team Report and is a strategic plan priority area.
How is this work connected to the District’s plan to achieve Goals & Guardrails?
The Goals & Guardrails exist to ensure that all students are given an education that ultimately allows them to thrive, succeed and lead in a global society. Equitable access to high-quality, evidence-based instructional resources that support the academic achievement of every learner is pivotal to realizing our district’s vision for students. The selected instructional resources support instructional program coherence, promoting the synchronization of every element of the instructional program and its strategies— from core instruction to interventions —all working together to advance the same set of grade-level student experiences. Currently, the lack of coherence is a major barrier for students who transition between texts or schools midyear or even from one grade to the next. Our research shows that at each grade level evaluated, the content at a given time of year is inconsistent, and course material may be taught as much as two grades apart, contingent upon which program a school is using. This is a meaningful impediment to the success of our students. The Goals & Guardrails represent our collective commitment to making the changes needed to provide our students, educators, and leaders with the tools to improve student achievement. Investing in high-quality instructional resources is an indispensable measure toward goal attainment.
How will the success of this contract be measured?
Success will be measured in alignment with student achievement data collection and progress monitoring of the Goals and Guardrails and the District's Strategic Plan.
When applicable, is this an evidence-based strategy? If so, what evidence exists to support this approach?
Implementation of high-quality instructional resources is an evidence-based strategy. Instructional materials have a direct impact on teacher growth and student learning outcomes. The evidence is well-documented across many national and international research publications. Some resources include, A Framework for Raising Expectations and Instructional Rigor for English Language Learners and High Leverage Principles of Effective Instruction for English Learners.
When applicable, was a larger community of District community members and/or stakeholders involved in this selection process? If so, what groups and how?
Consistent with the District’s competitive procurement process, the selection process resulting in this contract included a committee of District staff with relevant programmatic, IT, and fiscal expertise who reviewed and evaluated contractors’ RFP responses. Additional stakeholders who participated in the selection process included the District’s senior leadership, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals, Teachers, students, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, families, the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, community members, School Advisory Councils; Parent Action Group (FACE), external partners, and national content experts.