HOW TO ADOPT SUCCESS WITH OAS ELA FOR GRADES 6-8
Or the latest chapter in the crazy history of Oklahoma textbook adoption!
To understand why Success with OAS English Language Arts: Grades 6-8 are supplemental instructional materials and how to purchase them with state textbook funding requires a lesson in state adoption history that began at Oklahoma’s statehood. Recent highlights:
In March 2022, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved “flexibility waiver requests” from six local boards of education that had petitioned to add Success with OAS English Language Arts: Grades 3-5 to the state-adopted list of instructional materials.
- Districts were appealing the State Textbook Committee’s (STC) rubber-stamp of “review” findings from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) that rejected the ELA series. [A copy of the requested 250-word response from Alpha Plus CEO Jan Barrick is available at https://sde.ok.gov/approved-titles#Approved%20Titles.] While the State Board’s action allowed schools to purchase Grade 3-5 ELA books with their textbook allocations, it did not allow that for all schools – only upon request.
- This “flexibility” would not have been granted except for the petitions from Agra, Deer Creek-Lamont, Flower Mound, Kenwood, Morrison, and Terral in support of local control of curriculum as allowed in state law under Title 70 OS 16-102 section E. Local board members acted in a historic fulfillment of long-standing precedent that allows the SBE to add books to the “state-adopted list.” This amendment to state law was proposed and pursued by John Saxon after his math books were rejected by the State Textbook Committee in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In December 2017, eleven districts petitioned the State Board of Education to add Success with OAS Mathematics (K-8) to the state-adopted list with unanimous approval by SBE members at the time. As such, textbook allocations can be used for all Success with OAS Mathematics books. Based on these precedents, the petitions for ELA Grades 6-8 were expected to be considered by the State Board of Education in December 2021. They were not on the agenda until March 2022 and then tabled without discussion.
In November 2020, statutory amendments to state law governing instructional materials changed the process so that only “comprehensive” textbooks would be adopted by the State Textbook Committee while “supplemental” textbooks were exempt from review. Supplemental materials are allowed to be purchased with state textbook funding without the OSDE’s stamp of approval. As such, the Success with OAS ELA series for Grades 6-8 was submitted to the STC as supplemental instructional material.
House Bill 3466, as amended, includes new law (in bold below) in support of local control of curriculum decisions:
“Section 16-111.1 The funds allocated for textbooks in Section 16-114a of this title may be used by a school district for supplementary textbooks and other instructional materials other than those selected and placed on the list of textbooks by the State Textbook Committee. The local textbook committee shall submit a statement to the local board of education justifying any such selections. For purposes of this section, "supplementary textbooks and other instructional materials" shall mean materials pertaining to subjects that are not reviewed by the State Textbook Committee or materials that support instruction in the subject matter standards as adopted by the State Board of Education in Section 11-103.6 of this title that were not reviewed by the State Textbook Committee.
Naturally, paperwork must be completed to use state textbook allocations for supplemental materials. From the OSDE’s “Local Textbook Committee Responsibilities At-A-Glance”:
- Districts must appoint members to the local textbook committee. This usually occurs in October or early November of each year and no later than February.
- The local textbook committee needs to meet to become familiar with, and/or make recommendations to improve, district guidance and requirements for textbook evaluations.
- After the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee approves materials up for adoption for the upcoming school year, the district committee can begin to reach out to selected publishers to request samples and/or present them to the committee. Call 405-842-8408 for a presentation at your school!]
- Once the district chooses the textbook(s) for adoption, the textbook committee must submit the adoption recommendation to the district.
- Districts may purchase textbooks on or after July 1 of each year.
The only instructional materials truly aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS), Success with OAS mirrors the content limits, depth of knowledge, and other Oklahoma School Testing Program specifications. Each lesson plan addresses state subject-matter standards and objectives using research-based elements of instruction:
- Real-World Connections to engage students,
- Modeling of how to teach each objective step-by-step,
- Guided Practice to help students master concepts,
- Vocabulary defined in the lesson and glossary as in the OAS,
- Independent Practice for students to work on their own,
- Continuous Practice to keep students using skills learned, and
- Extension Activities useful for remediation and enhancement.
NOTE: All Alpha Plus books and assessments may be purchased with federal Title I funds.
Going forward, it is likely ALL Success with OAS books will be bid to the State Textbook Committee as supplemental resources to make it easier for districts to use textbook funding for materials their teachers want.
Any questions? Please call 405-842-8408