Popular ELA curriculum ‘Units of Study’ receives harsh review

Hasain Rasheed for APM Reports

First-graders in Oakland, Calif., practice reading.

The popular but often-criticized Units of Study K-8 English/Language Arts curriculum received a scathing review Monday from the nonprofit EdReports.

EdReports’ instructional material reviews draw on expert educators, and are often considered by districts and committees in decisions regarding textbooks and curriculum.

The most recent 2018 version of Units of Study did not meet EdReports’ expectations, the organization said. EdReports criticized the curriculum for relying of “cueing” in K-2 materials for solving unknown words. Cueing focuses on the immediate sounds and meaning cues rather than decoding words.

Materials for grades 3-5 “did not meet the expectations” for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards, according to the review.

“Materials lack a variety of regular, standards-aligned, text-based listening and speaking opportunities,” Edreports said in the review.

The California Reading Coaltion, in a tweet Tuesday, said the EdReports review should be a “wake up call for California districts” who use the curriculum.

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