Purchasing in 2022: School Districts Continue to Prioritize Standards Alignment

CSA aligns print and digital platforms with academic standard sets.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research showed that the vast majority of school district leaders agreed on the necessity that new K–12 curricula continue to align to their state’s adopted academic standards. More than two-thirds of those polled agreed that ELA and math products should align well with Common Core or CCSS-based state standards. According to one 2019 online survey of district leaders, roughly 72 percent consider it “very important” that all science materials purchased in the next two years align with the NGSS.1 In the West and Northwest, fidelity to aligned science products was shared among 80–90 percent of education leaders. 

As school districts looked ahead to purchasing updated classroom materials, one point on which most educators remained unwavering was that adherence to the skills outlined in their state’s adopted standards is essential to providing teachers and students the best foundation for success. 

Throughout the pandemic, the challenge of distance learning required teachers to learn and integrate a whole host of educational technologies into their daily routines, and high-quality materials and the ability to identify them have become more important than ever. Now, as the landscape of the education industry has seen wide-scale change and endeavors to evolve even further, the need for standards-aligned materials, print or digital, remains crucial to school districts across the United States. 

One 2021 survey of district leaders, principals, and teachers finds that a quarter of responders claim ELA materials do not sufficiently align with academic standards. Among those responders from urban districts, nearly 40 percent state that their ELL materials are insufficiently aligned.2 Meanwhile, as many teachers obtain supplemental materials via the Internet, studies show that these, too, are insufficiently aligned to standards. 

CSA Alignment Services has been aligning educational materials with academic standard sets and frameworks for 30 years. Our international team of subject matter experts (SMEs) can show how well an education product matches up with any standard set. We can also create gap analyses, identifying gaps in standard coverage, and illustrate where new content may be integrated to give ample coverage. We work in every content area and with every type of standard framework. 

Alignment to standards is just one aspect of creating and marketing high-quality educational materials—but it is an important part. Let CSA take care of it for you. Click here for more information.


1. Harwin, Alex. (2020, February 27). “How Are the Next Generation Science Standards Shaping District Purchasing?” Market Brief, EdWeek https://marketbrief.edweek.org/exclusive-data/next-generation-science-standards-shaping-district-purchasing/ 

2. Harwin, Alex. (2022, February 10). “Where Are Materials for English-Language Learners Missing the Mark?” Market Brief, EdWeek https://marketbrief.edweek.org/exclusive-data/where-are-materials-for-english-language-learners-missing-the-mark/ 

3. Polikoff, Morgan with Jennifer Dean. (December 2019). The Supplemental Curriculum Bazaar: Is What’s Online Any Good? Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Institute https://fordhaminstitute.org/sites/default/files/20191210-fw-es-supplemental-curriculum-bazaar.pdf