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    SPS Review Criteria for K-8 Science Instructional Materials

    As outlined in SPS Board Policy 2015PDF icon, the Adoption Committee is responsible for developing Selection Criteria before any materials are reviewed for adoption consideration. With support from the SPS Science Curriculum Specialists, the committee selected the most relevant components from several different, nationally-developed selection criteria, including the General Criteria for Evaluating Textual Materials for Cultural Relevancy and Anti-Bias, the Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria (PEEC) for NGSS Instructional Materials Design, the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for Science, and a draft version of criteria being developed, and generously shared with Seattle Public Schools, by EdReports.org. The resulting document is arguably one of the most comprehensive sets of Selection Criteria ever used for the review of science instructional materials.

    The SPS K-8 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Review CriteriaPDF icon

    The Review Criteria are organized into five categories as outlined below.

    Category 1: Standards Alignment

    • The unit’s purpose and focus of a learning sequence is to support students in making sense of phenomena and/or design solutions to problems by engaging in student performances that integrate the three dimensions of the NGSS.
    • A technology-based platform supports the storyline sequence toward this goal.

    Category 2: Assessments

    • The unit supports monitoring student progress in all three dimensions of the NGSS as students make sense of phenomena and/or design solutions to problems.
    • The unit contains embedded pre-, formative, summative, self-, and peer assessments.

    Category 3: Accessibility for Diverse Learners

    • The unit provides teacher resources for a differentiated path for all students. In particular, resources should provide guidance to support students with special needs, including English learners, students living in poverty, foster youth, girls and young women, advanced learners, students with disabilities, students experiencing trauma, and students below grade level, in science skills and three-dimensional learning.
    • The unit provides students with direct (preferably firsthand, or through media representations) experience with a phenomenon or a problem that is relevant to them and is developmentally appropriate.

    Category 4: Evaluation of Bias Content

    • The unit representations are free of bias, stereotypes, and historical marginalization.
    • Representations are culturally relevant and neutral gender roles.

    Category 5: Instructional Planning and Support

    • The unit provides background knowledge and resources that explain to teachers how the three dimensions work together to support students in make sense of phenomena and/or design solutions to problems and build toward the PEs.
    • The unit provides electronic learning resources, including technology-based assessments, support instruction that is connected explicitly to the NGSS, have a well-designed user interface, provide technical support, and include suggestions for appropriate and differentiated use. The resources include a backup, analog-based plan in case of network or equipment issues.