Textbooks and Instructional Resources

Published: 5/25/2023 12:58 PM

Selection and Use of Instructional Resources/Materials

In Kentucky, the Department of Education is responsible for the development of standards, and state law assigns districts the authority to design the local curriculum based on language found in Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 160.345. Upon the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1 (2022), the authority to determine instructional materials was transferred from the school-based decision making (SBDM) council to the local superintendent. Specifically, per KRS 160.345, Section 2(g), “the local superintendent shall determine which curriculum, textbooks, instructional materials, and student support services shall be provided in the school after consulting with the local board of education, the school principal, and the school council and after a reasonable review and response period for stakeholders in accordance with local board of education policy."   

Kentucky's Model Curriculum Framework (MCF) assists districts and schools in the development and/or revision of curricula, as well as accompanying assessments and professional learning. The MCF serves as a guide to ensure that decisions are based on Kentucky's expectations for effective teaching and learning and includes tools, strategies, and suggested resources for making informed and thoughtful decisions.


High-Quality Instructional Resources

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) defines High-Quality Instructional Resources (HQIRs) as materials that are:

• Aligned with the Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS);

• Research-based and/or externally validated;

• Comprehensive to include engaging texts (books, multimedia, etc.), tasks and assessments;

• Based on fostering vibrant student learning experiences;

• Culturally relevant, free from bias; and

• Accessible for all students.

High-quality instructional resources (HQIRs) are a means by which local curriculum aligned with the Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) becomes an actionable foundation for districts and schools to equitably foster vibrant student learning experiences. A local curriculum anchored in a HQIR supports the learning goals, outcomes and core competencies students must demonstrate to reach the grade-level expectations within the KAS. It also provides teachers with an array of pedagogical supports to help meet the needs of diverse learners.

The process of identifying, evaluating and selecting a primary HQIR involves multiple steps to ensure decision-makers select resources that will serve local priorities and meet the needs of all learners as articulated in an instructional vision. This work may be completed by the district curriculum team or delegated to a sub-committee formed to undertake this task. The Curriculum Development Process lays out the process for selecting HQIRs and also contains tools to support districts in the work.

Schools and districts may wish to use the Sample Textbook Purchasing Plan to assist in the development of a K-8 purchasing plan.

Digital Learning Guidelines

Furthermore, the KDE Digital Learning Team designed the Kentucky Digital Learning Guidelines as guidance for schools, districts, and digital providers when selecting or creating developmentally appropriate digital learning resources for instruction, as well as online and blended learning courses in Kentucky schools.

Digital learning resources, as well as online and digital learning courses used in Kentucky, must align explicitly to the Kentucky Academic Standards appropriate for each course, be endorsed by a highly qualified content teacher, and follow established Kentucky statutes and regulations for selection and purchase as specified in KRS 156.395-476 and 704 KAR 3:455.

* Basal: one that serves as the primary means of instruction in a content area for a grade level or course.​


Please contact  KDETextbooks@education.ky.gov with any questions.

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