News

New AP course materials are getting an independent review

July 14th, 2016

Learning List’s review methodology will be used to assess materials for alignment to the new AP courses

No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law 10 years ago, made standardized testing the cornerstone of national education policy. But it offered little direction on test security.

Today Learning List, the leading instructional materials review service for schools and districts, announces its alliance with The College Board to provide professional, independent reviews of Advanced Placement (AP) materials to empower educators to select instructional materials that will best prepare their students for success in AP courses.

In collaboration with the College Board, Learning List has developed a review methodology that assesses materials’ alignment to the Learning Objectives and Skills/Practices contained in the new AP course frameworks for math, science and history courses. The College Board will use Learning List’s reviews to select materials for the AP Example Textbooks lists.

For each AP instructional material, Learning List provides three professional reviews:

  • Spec Sheet: two-page overview of product’s key academic attributes and technology requirements
  • Alignment Reports: detailed verification of the material’s alignment to the content standards and to the skills/practices contained in the relevant AP course framework and
  • Editorial Review: a deep dive into the product’s instructional content and design to help teachers identify which products contain the supports they and their students need.

Additionally, Learning List subscribers are able to share their experiences by rating and reviewing the materials featured on LearningList.com.

“These reviews will help AP teachers select textbooks and resources that are most aligned to AP course frameworks,” says John Williamson, College Board’s vice president of Advanced Placement instruction. “The independent reviews authored by experienced AP teachers provide the information AP teachers need to select materials but also use those materials most effectively in making sure their students are exposed to all of the knowledge and skills articulated in the frameworks.”

To ensure the highest quality reviews, Learning List enlisted teachers who developed the new course frameworks for the College Board to review AP materials. The reviewers’ bios can be found under “Advanced Placement” on this page. As one reviewer commented, “You can be guaranteed that any text reviewed by Learning List has been thoroughly analyzed by professionals in the field. Content, questions, and problems have been scrutinized to ensure alignment.”

“Our reviews and tools are designed to build teachers’ confidence in and increase their use of the materials their districts have purchased,” says Jackie Lain, President of Learning List. “With guidance from The College Board, we developed a review methodology that assesses which AP materials will help teachers make critical connections between the components of the new course frameworks and teach students the knowledge and skills they need to be successful academically.”

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.