• Home
  • Quality Materials

Quality Materials

Quality Materials

Many factors contribute to quality instructional materials. Though definitions may vary somewhat from one professional organization to the next, all agree that quality materials should be robust materials aligned to learning standards regardless of whether the materials are print or digital, full course materials or supplemental materials, open or all rights reserved copyright.

SETDA Criteria

Quality instructional materials are content-rich materials aligned to standards that are fully accessible and free from bias. They support sound pedagogy and balanced assessment to help teachers understand and interpret student performance.

Quality Instructional Materials must be:

  • Aligned to state, district, and building learning standards as measured by widely-accepted evaluation tools.
  • Current, relevant, and accurate content that is user friendly, fully accessible for all learners, and free from bias.

Full-course, core instructional material should:

  • Emphasize the key areas of focus within each course, addressing the progression of learning skills, and vertically articulating content with other courses to ensure coherence.
  • Support differentiated learning behaviors and include resources for students who struggle and opportunities for students to be challenged.
  • Include a balanced assessment strategy to help teachers understand and interpret student performance.
  • Incorporate technology, where appropriate, that supports quality teaching and learning.

Criteria from Others

State Definitions

Currently, 16 states have a definition for digital instructional materials. Visit the DMAPS portal to learn more.

Association of American Publishers

Association of American Publishers
Delivering an effective education to all students is a shared responsibility.To achieve success publishers, schools, and all levels of government must work together to ensure that every teacher and student has access to a range of high-quality instructional materials. Engaging, effective, and diverse educational resources that promote learning, foster skills, and accelerate student achievement are central to the core themes listed above.



  • Aligned to the standards
  • Usable for students and educators: Well designed, Enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate, Offer assessments, Incorporate technology

Visit EdReports for more details on their approach for reviewing instructional materials

Open Up

Open Up Quality Standards

  • Engaging for students and teachers
  • Supports for ELL and students with disabilities
  • Alignment to standards

State Instructional Materials Association

The State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA) identifies three criteria for the selection of instructional materials, regardless of format (print vs digital).

  • Content – Aligned to core standards and objectives that lead to college and career readiness and is structured to ensure that all students meet grade-specific expectations as they develop literacy skills.
  • Accessibility– Materials are free from bias in their portrayal of ethnic groups, gender, age, disabilities, cultures, religion, etc., and contain accommodations for multiple learning styles, students with exceptionalities, English Language Learners, and cultural differences. They are durable and of high quality in physical structure, and are designed to promote optimal learning experiences for all students.
  • Pedagogical Design– Materials provide tools for a balanced approach to assessment including both formative and summative assessments in multiple formats not only to guide instruction but also to identify student mastery of content. Information is organized logically and presented clearly using multiple methods and modes for delivering instruction that motivate and increase literacy as students engage in high interest, authentic activities. Instructional design utilizes research-based instructional strategies, offers suggestions for appropriate scaffolding, emphasizes the importance of vocabulary acquisition, provides opportunities to engage in high interest, age-appropriate activities that mirror real-life situations, and make cross-curricular, global connections.

School District of Middletown

School District of Middletown: Chester, NY
Quality instructional materials are content rich materials aligned to Common Core Standards, equitably accessible, that support sound pedagogy, balanced assessments, and success for all learners.

©2019 SETDA, All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy