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This resource has been developed to help provide guidance to administrators and educators in the selection of instructional materials. Based on requests from state leaders, the Guide to Quality Instructional Materials supports the ability to establish or enhance state level review processes and to provide guidance to districts. The toolkit includes useful resources, guidance and examples that will help identify best practices when considering instructional materials including both core-instructional materials and supplemental resources.

Why Use This Guide?

Today’s instructional materials include resources delivered via different delivery platforms and carrying different types of licenses. However, the criteria used to judge quality and alignment to state learning standards needs to be the same regardless of whether the materials are print or digital, open, or all rights reserved copyright. Quality is quality. This guide may be used to:

  • Provide guidance to schools, districts and states regarding the selection of instructional materials
  • Inform instructional materials adoption policies and ongoing review processes at the state level
  • Encourage state leadership as related to instructional materials selection and procurement
  • Inform the private sector with an outline of considerations regarding the instructional materials selection and adoption process
  • Share resources for a variety of stakeholders involved in the process of selecting instructional materials


Christine Fox, Deputy Director, SETDA
Rachel Jones, Education Consultant

Project Development Committee

Originally released in 2016, this Guide has been updated annually with the latest updates to be released in September 2019.

Background: This work was originally developed in collaboration with SETDA members including state digital learning leaders and instructional materials leads as well as members of the private sector. The members met at least monthly from May 2016 – December 2016 including an in-person focus group at SETDA’s Annual Leadership Summit in October 2016. In addition, SETDA has collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the State Instructional Materials Review Association and the AEM Center to ensure a robust resource.

Contact Us:

If you have questions or suggestions, please email Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director at cfox(@)setda.org.


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