Reviews by and for Texas Teachers
Committed to Improving Student Achievement
Research shows high-quality instructional materials are critical to improving student outcomes. TRR provides objective, evidence-based reviews that empower local school districts to make informed decisions for their students.
Texas teachers are at the heart of our review process. Each review cycle begins with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills aligned rubrics and a rigorously vetted review team of highly trained educators from all over the state.
We also provide additional curriculum implementation support so teachers can focus more energy on what matters most: students.
Sometimes it is difficult to find material because you get so caught up on one measure and completely forget that there were other portions needed. The TRR will provide the hard work/leg work for educators when selecting materials.Teralee Barnett, District Elementary Social Studies/Writing Curriculum Coordinator, Victoria ISD
The TRR is a great organization made up of educators that understand and know the need of our teachers and students.
The TRR is the most groundbreaking and impactful project to influence and impact the world of instructional materials review in the history of the state. This project will have a huge impact on guiding districts to select the best instructional materials for their district.Travis Armstrong, Director of Early Learning, Wichita Falls ISD
The decision about our instructional materials is one that I don’t take lightly. I know that I’m impacting hundreds of teachers and thousands of students. Having access to the reports will help me be more confident in deciding which materials to put before our students and teachersShay Garland, Director of English Language Arts, Magnolia ISD
As the ELAR Curriculum leader in the recent textbook adoption, I experienced the need for quality materials at our fingertips to sort through to make a clear choice. I will continue to share with all colleagues that this is a valuable time saver for all involved in vetting resources.Amy Wright, ELAR Curriculum Specialist, New Braunfels ISD
Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to evaluate the quality of instructional materials?
TEA contracts with a private entity to conduct an independent analysis of each instructional material to evaluate its quality. As a part of this process, the agency ensures that the definition of quality is transparently communicated via rubrics that are used to assess all instructional materials.
While the quality evaluation rubrics are customized based on content area and grade band, there are commonalities across all rubrics. For example, all quality evaluation rubrics include:
- The percentage of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) coverage as determined by the State Board of Education (SBOE) process
- An assessment of supports for diverse learners
- A determination of how easy materials are for teachers to use in the classroom
- Examples of criteria unique to English language arts and reading (ELAR) evaluation rubrics are the variety and complexity of texts, how students are required to respond to the texts, and whether materials support the development of foundational literary skills.
Who conducts the reviews?
All reviewers are Texas educators who use the rubric developed for Texas. Each review team consists of five reviewers. At least two review team members are current classroom teachers. Other reviewers may be Texas district and campus administrators who demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the TEKS, rigorous expectations for high-quality instructional materials, and deep knowledge of effective curriculum implementation. Texas reviewers represent all geographic areas of the state and a significant number have expertise serving students with special needs, English learners, and classrooms with high percentages of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch.
All reviewers complete a rigorous selection process and ongoing training to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to write valid and reliable reviews that are helpful to Texas LEAs.
How does the Texas Resource Review work with the TEKS review process? Are they different?
The agency is engaged in ongoing conversations with the State Board of Education (SBOE) to ensure TRR will complement and augment the established TEKS-coverage review process. This is demonstrated in the TRR rubrics where the first measure of quality reflects the results of the SBOE’s review process to report the percentage of standards covered. All materials reviewed for quality will also be reviewed through the SBOE’s TEKS-coverage review process, and the results of the SBOE process will be featured as a part of the quality reviews on the TRR website.
How does this affect local purchase decisions?
TEA believes deeply that LEAs are best positioned to decide which curricula best fit the needs of their teachers and students. The TRR website is designed to complement and strengthen each LEA’s local review process by providing clear and transparent information about the quality of curricula. The TRR does not impact a district's ability to make their own local review and adoption decisions.
Who has provided feedback on the reviews and the review process?
TEA has received feedback from hundreds of stakeholders including but not limited to Texas teachers, district and campus administrators, SBOE members, regional education service centers, numerous Texas associations, and publishers.
Which other grades and content areas will be reviewed in the future?
The Texas Resource Review is intended to be a continuous process where teams of Texas educators conduct quality reviews of materials that meet the needs of districts. Therefore, additional content areas, grade levels, and supplemental materials will likely be reviewed in the future.
The agency seeks to align the timing of quality reviews with the general adoption and purchasing timelines followed by most districts based on the proclamation schedule. For instance, the SBOE is expected to release its list of approved English I-IV materials in November of 2019. TEA expects to release the quality reviews for English I-IV at the same time. This will allow LEAs to use both resources in their local adoption processes as they see fit.
Rubrics for ELAR supplemental materials and Pre-K Systems are being developed. Reviews are scheduled for summer 2020.
Note: The agency may not review all materials districts are interested in purchasing. The agency will, however, consider LEA preferences when prioritizing materials to be reviewed. So, we recommend that districts nominate materials they would like to be reviewed. Click here to submit a nomination.