Curriculum Vetting Process and Resources
An essential element of school improvement is the implementation of high-quality, standards-based curriculum for all students beginning at the Pre-kindergarten level through grade 12. Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 13A.04.14.01 requires that local school systems implement curriculum that aligns with the English Language Arts/Literacy Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 13A.04.12.01 requires that local school systems implement curriculum that aligns with the mathematics Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has developed a process and resources to vet English language arts (ELA) and mathematics curriculum to ensure full alignment with the Maryland College-and Career-Ready Standards. The process and tools were developed and piloted during the 2017-2018 school year and will be fully implemented in the 2018-2019 school year. Any school system with schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement will be required to use curriculum that has been vetted by MSDE. Local school system curriculum vetting reports with schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement reports are available for download.
Curriculum Vetting Process: A Timeline of Key Events
Completed Curriculum Vetting Reports
Read completed curriculum vetting reports for the evaluation of local school system adopted or developed English Language Arts or mathematics curriculum.
The Office of Leadership Development and School Improvement and the Division of Curriculum, Instructional Improvement, and Professional Learning collaborated with local school system supervisors to develop a process, protocols, and tools for use in vetting English language arts (ELA) and mathematics curricula.
Anchoring the work of stakeholders was defining what high-quality curricula looks like; what it includes; and common indicators often found in such a curriculum. Additionally, stakeholders referenced findings of the Council of Great City Schools', "Supporting Excellence: A Framework for Developing, Implementing, and Sustaining a High-Quality District Curriculum"(1), to ground the development of evaluation tools in what are considered key components for developing and implementing any high-quality curriculum.
English Language Arts and Mathematics Curriculum Vetting Tools:
All MSDE vetting tools are designed using leading research- and evidence-based information and models. Each rubric includes components and criteria that must be present in a high-quality English Language Arts or mathematics curriculum.
The MSDE has developed four English Language Arts rubrics to effectively capture evidence that the Maryland College- and Career-Ready Foundational Skills and Anchor Standards for Reading, Language, and Writing are represented accurately for: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2,
and Grades 3-10. Each rubric is available as a Word document and can be downloaded and modified to fit a local school systems' context.
Research-based Process and Phases:
Phase I- Tool Development: Prior to the curriculum vetting process, tools were developed to determine the extent to which each were usable, adaptable [to more than one grade], and suitable for the task. The initial architecture of the ELA and mathematics rubrics were based on the work from Achieve's Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) rubrics, the Grade-Level Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool- Quality Review (GIMET-QR), and peer-reviewed research. Additionally, opportunities were availed to school system stakeholders to provide feedback for each rubric.
Phase II- Contracting Experts to Vet Curriculum: Curriculum vetters are contracted from around the state who provide multiple evidence of their expertise with either English language arts or mathematics curriculum. Prior to vetting curriculum, several required training sessions take place to ensure inter-rater reliability in generating a valid and reliable measure.
The vetting of each grade level content area (i.e., Grade 4 ELA) approximates 30 hours to produce a written evaluation and rating for each of the four criterion as evidence of a high-quality curriculum. ELA criterion included: Alignment with Maryland College- and Career-Ready Standards; Evidence of Key Shifts; Instructional Supports to Build Proficiency and Independence, and Assessment Design and Purpose. While mathematics criterion included: Focus and Rigor; Coherence; Instructional Supports; and, Assessment of and for Learning.
Phase III- Summary Reports to Local School System: As a next step, vetters generate a grade band consensus report for each grade band: ELA- K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-10; mathematics- K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and Algebra 1. Final summary reports show areas of strength, opportunities for growth, and recommendations for improvement, revision, or replacement of curriculum or curriculum components. Each report is shared with the local school system and results in a collaborative partnership with the MSDE.
Curriculum Vetting Rubrics
Select the underlined text to access vetting rubrics. Updated September 2020
English Language Arts Vetting Rubrics
Mathematics Arts Vetting Rubrics
Rubrics measure four key criteria to ensure a high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum. The rubric helps vetters to capture areas of promise, opportunities for growth, and recommendations for each grade being evaluated.
Use the 3-10 rubric to evaluate grades 3 through 10 which has a focus on reading for information and literature and the writing standards.
One rubric is used to measure four key criteria to ensure a high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum. The rubric helps vetters to capture areas of promise, opportunities for growth, and recommendations for each grade level or mathematics course being evaluated.
Use the K-12 mathematics curriculum vetting rubric to evaluate grades kindergarten through high school mathematics courses with a focus on:
Focus and Rigor for grade level or course;
Coherence within and across grade levels or courses;
Instructional supports for teachers of mathematics;
Assessment for and of learning.
ELA Grade Level Reporting
ELA Grade Band Consensus Reporting
These tools provide a way to synthesize the strengths and challenges in each grade level curriculum.
Use the K-2 Grade Level Reporting rubric to evaluate kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 curricula which focuses on foundational reading skills.
Use the 3-10 Grade Level Reporting rubric to evaluate grades 3 through 10 with more of a focus on reading for information and literature and the writing standards.
This tool tools identify commonalities across a grade band: K-2; 3-5; 6-8, and 9-10. This reporting tool helps vetters to capture areas of promise, opportunities for growth, and grade band recommendations to a school system for one or more grade levels.
Use the K-2 Grade Band Consensus Reporting rubric to evaluate kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 curricula which focuses on foundational reading skills.
Use the 3-10 rubric Grade Band Consensus Reporting rubric to evaluate grades 3 through 10 with more of a focus on reading for information and literature and the writing standards.
Not Just for CSI Schools
The Maryland Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan describes technical assistance that will be provided to schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI).
A key area of support is curriculum vetting. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recognizes that the implementation of standards-based curriculum is critical for school improvement. Consequently, each CSI school will be required to use ELA and mathematics curriculum that has been vetted by the MSDE.
As outlined above, the curriculum vetting protocol and training has been developed to evaluate alignment of curriculum with Maryland College-and Career-Ready Standards.
The process and resources developed are available to any school to use and vet their curriculum for these purposes:
prepare students for college and careers;
support teachers in delivering effective instruction;
ensure access for all students to rigorous and meaningful education in every school and classroom (1).
(1)source: "Supporting Excellence: A Framework for Developing, Implementing,and Sustaining a High-Quality District Curriculum", County of Great City Schools, June 2017.