In Step 3, reviewers identify applicable standards and analyze each potential unit of instructional materials to determine whether the learning goals will be met. The judgments of experienced teachers, informed and focused by training for the process, will be used. The judgments of scientists concerning the accuracy and significance of content and approaches to scientific inquiry — likewise informed and focused by training — will also be harnessed.
You may want to invite others, including school board members and district administrators, to observe the first review session. Doing so will help these key stakeholders become aware of the magnitude of the review task, the qualifications of the reviewers, and the focus on student learning goals. This knowledge will help later on, when these same individuals will be involved in making final decisions, and will help them educate the community about the integrity of the process.
Make decisions about materials needed, reviewer assignments, and time needed. In assigning materials to reviewer teams, take into account the time required. For planning purposes, estimate that a review of a set of instructional materials covering about eight weeks, against two or three standards, will take at least six hours (when there are two independent reviewers). See also "Budget Planning" in Step 1.
Comprehensive instructional materials packages, such as a yearlong seventh grade science program, will require multiple reviewers. First, decide which standards must be met by the instructional materials and, if feasible, prioritize the standards. Assign each team of two independent reviewers one or two of these standards, which they will then apply in a review of the entire program. This approach ensures that the content coverage and accuracy are given priority. Their review of the student learning criteria should then be carried out for the sections in which their assigned content is found. A conference among all the reviewers is likely to be needed to address overall concerns, such as identification of any gaps, recommended components, and likely needs for professional development. The Review Team Summary (Form 4) will need to be extended to include more standards. In addition, if the reviewers engage in a wide-ranging discussion about the program, it would be helpful to attach a written summary to Form 4.
Each reviewer should be provided with at least the teacher's manual and the assessment materials. For other