PACE Event

Textbook Adoption in California

Issues and Evidence

Since the settlement of the Williams v. California case California schools have been required to provide annual reports on the adequacy of their instructional materials in their School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs), in order to ensure that all students have a minimum level of access. A decade later, what do we know about the curriculum materials used in California’s schools as the state transitions to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards?

In this seminar Morgan Polikoff will report findings from his research on school and district textbook adoptions in mathematics, English language arts, and science over the past several years. Polikoff will present quantitative evidence from SARCs and statewide longitudinal achievement data on the spread of new materials, the timing of their implementation, their distribution across districts and schools, and their impact on student outcomes.

Polikoff will also present findings from interviews with school district leaders about the policies and practices that guide local curriculum adoption decisions across the state, and will discuss the utility of the SARC data, and the challenges that scholars and others face in using them for research.


  • Morgan Polikoff, Associate Professor of Education, University of Southern California