High School Math

Our educators review materials based on criteria that measure alignment to the Common Core. As such, when it comes to high school math standards, grade levels are not a category. While the standards specify the mathematical content and skills students should learn to be college and career ready, they do not mandate the sequence of those courses or grade level focus. Therefore, EdReports teams review both traditional course sequences (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II) as well as an integrated course sequences.

That is why there is a single report for each series of traditional or integrated math curricula. Within each report is detailed information for the individual courses as well as the entire series.

All reviewers consult the Quality Instructional Materials Tool for High School Mathematics and related evidence guides throughout their review process. Review teams complete the following steps in order to create the high-quality, evidence-rich reports on the website. Most indicators are scored on a two-point scale:

  • 2 - A rating of 2 means that the materials meet the full intention of the indicator.
  • 1 - A rating of 1 means that the materials partially meet the intention of the indicator.
  • 0 - A rating of 0 means that the materials do not meet the intention of the indicator.

Focus and Coherence (Gateway 1)

The Focus and Coherence gateway consists of one criterion with seven scored indicators. In this gateway, reviewers consider how well the materials are coherent and consistent with the high school standards that specify the mathematics which all students should study in order to be college and career ready. This includes looking closely at the specific modeling standards that appear throughout the high school Common Core standards, as indicated by a star (*). We use the specific definition of modeling that appears in the standards to inform our evidence collection and scoring.

Reviewer teams begin on a single indicator and a single course to find evidence, move through all courses in the series, and then determine a score for each indicator. There is also an unscored indicator for how the plus standards are included in the instructional materials. The plus standards encompass additional mathematics for advanced courses and are indicated by a (+) symbol in the Common Core Standards for High School Mathematics. Reviewers provide evidence for how the plus standards are included in the instructional materials, but do not assign a score.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for Focus and Coherence in order to be reviewed for Rigor and Mathematical Practices (Gateway 2). Educators designed this principle of our review tool to ensure that only materials that cover the high school standards with sufficient depth, are coherent, and are consistent with the standards will be reviewed for rigor, mathematical practices and usability.

Rigor and Mathematical Practices (Gateway 2)

If materials meet or partially meet expectations for focus and coherence, reviewers then proceed to the second gateway which covers rigor and the mathematical practices. The second gateway contains two criteria and eight indicators.


The review tool and evidence guides support reviewers in capturing how well the materials reflect the balances in the standards, and  help students meet the standards’ rigorous expectations by giving appropriate attention to developing students’ conceptual understanding, supporting the development of procedural skills and fluency, and supporting students’ ability to utilize mathematical content and skills in engaging applications.

Mathematical Practices

In the Quality Instructional Materials Tool for High School Mathematics, the mathematical practices are grouped into four indicators, with two standards for mathematical practice addressed in each indicator. Reviewers look across the series to ensure that the materials meaningfully connect the mathematical practices with the content standards.

Instructional Supports and Usability (Gateway 3)

Only materials that fully meet the expectations for the first two gateways will be reviewed for Instructional Supports and Usability (Gateway 3). The last set of 30 indicators that our reviewers examine are around how well materials support student learning and engagement and support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards. They also look to see if materials also offer supports to differentiate instruction for diverse learners and enrich instruction through technology. There are four scored criteria and one non-scored criterion. For ‘Effective Technology Use,’ indicators are not rated but evidence is still collected to be included in the review. EdReports.org considers technology use to be an important element of usability, but since printed and online materials vary widely in their use of technology we are not scoring these indicators at this time.

 High School Gateway 3