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Educator Ambassadors Pilot & Test High Quality Instructional Materials

Jun 11, 2021 7:54:14 AM / by Dr. Yvette Nishikawa

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EdCuration’s Certified EdTrustees Program modernizes the traditional landscape of K-12 public education with meaningful impact on the curriculum procurement process.  

High Quality Instructional Materials have been shown to improve student learning by up to four grade levels.  But training educators to become expert evaluators of quality has been challenging. EdCuration’s Certified EdTrustee Program works with educational leaders to carefully evaluate instructional materials based on a pilot implementation with students.  

EdCuration’s CEO, Timeri Tolnay, saw the need to more systematically make pilot opportunities available to schools and districts nationwide.  “Educators want to try before they buy,” she said.  “They want to ensure that the program aligns to their instructional philosophy and school or district goals.  They want to make sure proper training is provided by the developer to ensure successful implementation.  They want programs that are culturally relevant, that are easy for teachers to use, that engage students.  And most importantly, they want to make sure that the programs produce the intended results.”  To this end, EdCuration has developed a simple 6 domain Pilot Evaluation Scorecard that EdTrustees are trained to use to evaluate materials during implementation.  The domains for evaluation are: 

  1. Alignment: How aligned Is the instructional resource with your classroom / school / district standards?
  2. Guidance: How adequate is the guidance provided to support use in the classroom.
  3. Cultural Responsiveness: How culturally responsive is the resource for diverse learners?
  4. Teacher Lift: How easy is it to implement?
  5. Engagement: How engaged are the students when this resource is being implemented?
  6. Efficacy: How effective is the resource in producing the intended student outcomes?

Different from a complicated evaluation methodology, the Pilot Evaluation Scorecard can be used quickly to determine program efficacy.  EdTrustees are trained via ExPLorations: online, bite-sized professional learning opportunities for educators.  

The Certified EdTrustee Program benefits students and teachers by creating a pathway that brings innovative resources onto campus.  It also benefits administrators, as they can nominate their best and brightest to become Certified EdTrustees.  EdTrustees can be classroom teachers, Department Chairs, TOSAs, Instructional Coaches, Principals, Assistant Principals, or any district administrator.  If not teaching students directly, the EdTrustee needs to coordinate the pilot with one or more teachers under their supervision.  By nominating superstars to the Certified EdTrustee Program, administrators can demonstrate trust in their leaders’ abilities to represent their school or district to pilot and evaluate new programs.  EdTrustees are like purchasing scouts for corporations, utilizing a highly academic approach.

During and after piloting a resource, EdTrustees share their experience with other educators through social media, by creating a user rating & review on edcuration.com, and by writing a blog article about the experience that gets published online. Educational leaders who aspire to career growth are encouraged to apply to become a Certified Edtrustee, and administrators are encouraged to nominate their best and brightest – a free opportunity to build a pathway for testing out instructional resources before committing to a purchase. 

Our nation’s K-12 landscape benefits from programs such as the Certified EdTrustee offering to increase the quality of instructional resources serving our students.  

Topics: EdCuration, School Leadership

Dr. Yvette Nishikawa

Written by Dr. Yvette Nishikawa

Dr. Yvette Nishikawa is a former classroom teacher, school principal & county education director. For the past 9 years she has worked for curriculum vendors in sales and partnership development, guiding adoption and instructional procurements. Her insider knowledge is invaluable in understanding the challenges educators and vendors face finding the best instructional programs for their schools and districts.