By Elizabeth Burr and Ryan W. Lewis, WestEd

This Knowledge Brief is part of a continuing series designed to inform California education leaders about key policy issues related to teachers and teaching in the Golden State.

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We are excited to share with you our latest Knowledge Brief, What California teachers say about their instructional materials for English learner students: New data and insights, by WestEd researchers Elizabeth Burr and Ryan W. Lewis.

California’s English learner (EL) students have been severely impacted by unequal access to quality content and resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support these students, education leaders would benefit from understanding whether teachers feel they have instructional materials that meet their EL students’ needs. But materials vary across subjects, and teachers use materials differently based on who their EL students are and what proportion of their students are English learners.

Summarizing California findings from a nationwide survey, this Knowledge Brief highlights:

  • teachers’ views on the adequacy of their instructional materials for their EL students
  • how teachers prefer to address the inadequacies in materials
  • whether the materials support culturally relevant instruction
  • what value teachers place on particular elements of the materials, and
  • how teachers’ responses differ across subjects and classroom demographics

The brief also discusses implications for improving materials and strengthening professional learning for teachers of EL students, and ways that education leaders can take advantage of timely opportunities—such as the adoption of new materials lists aligned with the revised math framework and recent investments in professional learning—to ensure that EL students have equitable access to high-level learning.

Download the brief