Illustrative Mathematics (IM) recently announced a few more partnerships which has left some educators wondering, who, what, when, why, huh? Users are now faced with choices and it can be confusing. This post is to help so educators can go back to what is important, focusing on all students having access to aligned instruction in mathematics.
If you are using IM resources then it is probably because of the review in EdReports. The IM resources has the highest rating on Ed Reports for the Shifts: Focus, Coherence and Rigor. It is also rated high for usability. In addition, it contains instructional practices that are held near and dear to mathematics educators.
But, one shoe does not fit all! We want options and lots of them. Consider something as simple as buying acetaminophen or Tylenol. We have rapid release, PM, enteric coated, extra strength, 24, 50, 100 count, tablets, capsules, etc., you name it. Some people are okay to take the generic and some want the brand name.
The same way with a highly-rated aligned resource. There are options. Plain and simple, options. Users can decide what is important to them and what version they will use. Each will have strengths and challenges. It is up to educators to pick which option is best for them. Some will use exclusively from one partner while some will use different parts from several.
In Iowa, we know alignment to the Shifts matters. We know Focus, Coherence, and Rigor matters. This means EdReports can provide useful information when considering which resource to use. Since the IM resources are highly aligned, then it is important we use a “certified” version. Yes, it matters.
If you have ever talked to me about making changes to the IM resources, then you know I make no bones about owning the fact that, “I do not have the skill-set to know how changes to the resource will impact the alignment and I cannot tell you how it will/will not impact the scope and sequence. ”
I am not embarrassed to admit it and do not think I should know. What I do know is students deserve the best we can give them and aligned materials matter. Hard Stop! Students deserve resources which are aligned to the Shifts: Focus, Coherence, and Rigor, and instructional practices. Teachers deserve to teach with highly aligned instructional materials.
So, whether you use the free version or want the additional bells and whistles that come along with the paid version, students and teachers deserve the guarantee that the version they are using is the genuine, authentic, original, “certified” resource. They deserve to know the review from EdReport is intact. They deserve the assurance that any changes made will not alter the scope and sequence or hinder the Shifts. They deserve the changes to be “certified” by IM.
Having access to aligned mathematics instruction should be a right and guarantee each and every student is given. IM is committed to this promise and is providing a guarantee that with the “certified” versions, any changes will not hinder this right and guarantee. This is a very exciting time as the narrative has changed to which “certified” version of a highly aligned instructional resource should we use. It is a good problem to have.