What does aligned mean?

In the context of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), aligned means that a lesson, unit, textbook, assessment, or other teaching resource meets the following criteria:

  • It targets one or more of the Standards for a given grade level
  • It addresses that Standard or Standards in depth, adhering both to the description given in the Standards and the goal that Standard(s) expects students to reach
  • It addresses key shifts in the CCSS—using evidence from texts, reading texts closely to determine deeper meaning, etc.
  • It includes scaffolding for students who need it
  • It supports differentiated instruction
  • It supports teachers in assessing their students' progress (using formative assessments in longer units)

Phew! That's a number of requirements, that's for sure. So how do you separate aligned resources from non-aligned—cull the wheat from the chaff, so to speak?

Assessing resources for alignment

One way to assess resources for alignment with the CCSS is to use an alignment evaluation rubric. You can find a few here. This huge PDF is a joint effort from Student Achievement Partners, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve. Using a rubric can help keep your reviews consistent.

Questions? Get in touch!

If you'd like to talk to one of our curriculum specialists, give us a call at 800-932-4593 and one of our friendly Customer Service reps will connect you. Or you can email us—put "alignment" in the subject line and we'll get back to you soon.

Aligned: Describes a lesson, unit, textbook, or other teaching resource that meets or exceeds—in letter and in spirit—several criteria specified by the Common Core State Standards.