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Selecting Scientifically and Evidence-Based Instructional Programs

This brief training covers the differences between core programming, supplemental programming, and intervention. This, in combination with the Selecting an Instructional Program Video found below, can be used as a resource to help guide schools and districts in selecting appropriate curricula and tools.  


Instructional Programs and Tools Overview Video - PowerPoint and Presenter Notes (PPT)

Selecting an Instructional Program Video

This short training walks through the use of two tools, The Reading League’s Curriculum Evaluation Tool and CDE’s Core Instructional Programming Rubric, to help guide schools and districts in selecting scientifically and evidence-based instructional programs. 


Selecting an Instructional Program - PowerPoint and Presenter Notes (PPT)

Reading League Curriculum Evaluation Tool

The Reading League’s Curriculum Evaluation Tool identifies green flags for instructional practices that align with the science of reading and red flags for practices that do not. This curriculum evaluation tool features components that align with the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Rope. Word Recognition and Language Comprehension are broken down into subcomponents. Writing, assessment, and overall design are also evaluated.

CDE K-3 Core Instructional Programming Rubric

The Core Instructional Programming Rubric is used as part of the review process for programs to be placed on the Colorado Department of Education’s READ Act Advisory List. The rubric has two phases. In phase one, reviewers are looking for evidence of research alignment, explicit instruction, sequential instruction, systematic and cumulative instruction, coordinated components and related elements that are optimal for delivering effective instruction. If the program meets the minimum threshold of points, it will move onto phase two where it will be reviewed by reading component for each grade level kindergarten through third grade. A program may appear to meet these phase one requirements but on further more detailed review in phase two, reviewers may find evidence might be contrary to the initial, cursory review. 

Instructional Program Review Rubrics for Grades 4-12

An instructional program rubric for Colorado school districts to use as a resource when reviewing programs for grades four through twelve. Similar to the instructional program review rubrics for K-3, the rubrics for 4-12 have two phases. Phase I demonstrates alignment between K-3 and 4-12, utilizing existing language from the K-3 rubric to delineate similarities, differences, and the vertical changes and complexities students in K-3 to 4-12.  Phase II of the 4-12 rubric focuses on and are divided into the categorical buckets listed below. They have been selected and designed to intentionally reflect all components of literacy (i.e., reading, writing, speaking, and listening), elevating conversations, considerations, and analysis for districts and schools prior to and during the curriculum adoption process. Each indicator is grounded by a question for leaders and educators to not only ponder in its use of the rubrics for instructional program and/or curriculum selection, but also in instructional practices both leaders and educators desire to provide their students. The sections within the categorical buckets of the rubric are aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, and Communicating and highlight the foundational principles of disciplinary literacy while supporting literacy proficiency for students who remain on READ plans beyond third grade. 

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Fluency, Vocabulary, and Word Analysis
  • Oral Expression and Comprehension 
  • Research and Analysis

4-12 Literacy Instructional Rubrics Reference List

Instructional Program Review Tool for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) of ALL Students (PDF)

The Instructional Program Review Tool for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) of ALL Students tool helps in identifying instructional programs that are inclusive of culturally and linguistically diverse student groups.

CDE Advisory List of Instructional Programming

The READ Act requires the department to identify evidence-based instructional programs and professional development programs for use by local education agencies. The CDE Advisory List of Instructional Programming includes links to providers and programs that have been approved through the most recent instructional programming review process completed in 2020. As of March 2021, this list has been updated and is now considered complete.