6161.1 AR - Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials

Administrative Regulation No. 6161.1
Regulation Reviewed: April 3, 2014
Regulation Revised: February 12, 2024


Review Process

The district's review process for evaluating instructional materials shall involve teachers in a substantial manner and shall encourage the participation of parents/guardians and community members in accordance with Education Code 60002. The review process may also involve administrators, other staff who have subject-matter expertise, and students as appropriate. The Superintendent or designee shall seek input from stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

If the district is considering the use of instructional materials for grades K-8 that have not been adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE), the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that a majority of the participants in the district's review process are classroom teachers who are assigned to the subject area or grade level of the materials.  (Education Code 60210)

The Superintendent or designee may establish an advisory committee to conduct the review of instructional materials.

The Superintendent or designee shall present to the Governing Board recommendations for instructional materials and documentation that supports the recommendations.

All recommended instructional materials shall be available for public inspection at the district office.

When possible, the district may pilot instructional materials in a representative sample of classrooms for a specified period of time during a school year, in order to determine the extent to which the materials support the district's curricular goals and academic standards, and accurately reflect and value society's diversity. Feedback from teachers piloting the materials shall be made available to the Board before the materials are adopted.

Criteria for Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials

In recommending instructional materials for adoption by the Board, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the materials:

1. Are aligned to the content standards adopted by SBE and consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum framework adopted by SBE

For grades K-8, only instructional materials on the list of materials adopted by SBE and/or other instructional materials that have not been adopted by SBE but are aligned with the state academic content standards or the Common Core State Standards may be recommended for selection.  (Education Code 60200, 60210)

For grades 9-12, instructional materials in history-social science, mathematics, English/language arts, and science shall be reviewed using a standards map in order to determine the extent to which the materials are aligned to state academic content standards.
2. Do not reflect adversely upon persons because of any characteristic specified in law and Board Policy 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities, nor contain any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law  (Education Code 51501, 60044)
3. To the satisfaction of the Board, are accurate, objective, current, and suited to the differing needs and comprehension of district students at their respective grade levels  (Education Code 60045)
4. With the exception of literature and tradebooks, use proper grammar and spelling (Education Code 60045)

5. Do not expose students to a commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo unless the Board makes a specific finding that the use is appropriate based on one of the following:  (Education Code 60048, 60200)
     a. The commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo is used in text for an educational purpose as defined in guidelines or frameworks adopted by SBE
     b. The appearance of a commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo in an illustration is incidental to the general nature of the illustration

6. Meet the requirements of Education Code 60040-60043 for specific subject content, including, but not limited to:
     a. Accurately portraying society's cultural and racial diversity, including:
          i. The contributions of all genders in all types of roles, including professional, vocational, and executive roles
          ii. The role and contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, LGBTQ+ Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic groups to the total development of California and the United States
          iii. The role and contributions of the entrepreneur and labor in the total development of California and the United States
     b. Accurately portraying humanities place in ecological systems and the necessity for the protection of the environment
     c. Accurately portraying the effects on the human system of the use of tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics, and restricted dangerous drugs as defined in Health and Safety Code 11032, and other dangerous substances
     d. Encouraging thrift, fire prevention, and the humane treatment of animals and people
     e. Requiring, when appropriate to the comprehension of students, that textbooks for social science, history, or civics classes contain the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution

2. Support the district's adopted courses of study and curricular goals, including the district's local control and accountability plan
3. Contribute to a comprehensive, balanced curriculum
4. Demonstrate reliable quality of scholarship as evidenced by:
     a. Accurate, up-to-date, and well-documented information
     b. Objective presentation of diverse viewpoints
     c. Clear, concise writing and appropriate vocabulary
     d. Thorough treatment of subject matter
2. Provide for a wide range of materials at all levels of difficulty, with appeal to students of varied interests, abilities, and developmental levels
3. Stimulate discussion of contemporary issues, exploration of ideas, and intellectual exchanges, and improve students' thinking and decision-making skills
4. As appropriate, have corresponding versions available in languages other than English
5. Include high-quality teacher's guides

6. When available, include options for lighter weight materials, including materials in digital format, in order to help minimize any injury to students by the combined weight of instructional materials

In addition to meeting the above criteria as applicable, technology-based materials shall: 
1. Be both available and comparable to other, equivalent instructional materials  (Education Code 60052)
2. Be accessible to all students, including economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English learners
3. Protect the privacy of student data

Conflict of Interest

To ensure integrity in the evaluation and selection of instructional materials, individuals who are participating in the evaluation of instructional materials and are not otherwise designated in the district's conflict of interest code shall sign a disclosure statement indicating that they:

1. Will not accept any emolument, money, or other valuable thing or inducement to directly or indirectly introduce, recommend, vote for, or otherwise influence the adoption or purchase of any instructional material  (Education Code 60072)

Sample copies of instructional materials are excepted from this prohibition  (Education Code 60075)

2. Are not employed by nor receive compensation from the publisher or supplier of the instructional materials or any person, firm, organization, subsidiary, or controlling entity representing it
3. Do not have an interest as a contributor, author, editor, or consultant in any textbook or other instructional material submitted to the district

Policy Reference Disclaimer:
These references are not intended to be part of the policy itself, nor do they indicate the basis or authority for the board to enact this policy. Instead, they are provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the policy. 
State Code
5 CCR 9505-9530, Instructional materials
Ed. Code 1240, County superintendent of schools; duties
Ed. Code 18111, Exclusion of books by Governing board that are sectarian, partisan, or denominational character
Ed. Code 220, Prohibition of discrimination
Ed. Code 242, Access to information about educational laws and policies regarding right to accurate and inclusive curriculum
Ed. Code 243, Unlawful discrimination related to the use or prohibited use of textbooks and instructional materials
Ed. Code 33050-33053, General waiver authority
Ed. Code 33126, School accountability report card
Ed. Code 35272, Education and athletic materials
Ed. Code 44805, Teacher enforcement of course of studies; use of textbooks, rules and regulations
Ed. Code 48907, Exercise of free expression; time, place and manner rules and regulations
Ed. Code 48950, Speech and other communication
Ed. Code 49415, Maximum textbook weight standards
Ed. Code 51204.5, Social sciences instruction; contributions of specified groups
Ed. Code 51501, Nondiscriminatory subject matter
Ed. Code 51511, Religious matters properly included in courses of study
Ed. Code 51933, Sexual health education and HIV prevention materials
Ed. Code 52060-52077, Local control and accountability plan
Ed. Code 60000-60005, Instructional materials; legislative intent
Ed. Code 60010, Instructional materials; definition
Ed. Code 60040-60052, Requirements for instructional materials
Ed. Code 60060-60063.5, Requirements for publishers and manufacturers
Ed. Code 60070-60076, Prohibited acts regarding instructional materials
Ed. Code 60110-60115, Instructional materials on alcohol and drug education
Ed. Code 60119, Sufficiency of textbooks and instructional materials; hearing and resolution
Ed. Code 60150, Penalty for insufficiency of textbooks and instructional materials
Ed. Code 60200-60213, Elementary school materials
Ed. Code 60226, Requirements for publishers and manufacturers
Ed. Code 60400-60411, Instructional materials; high schools
Ed. Code 60510-60511, Donation or sale of obsolete instructional materials
Ed. Code 60605, State-adopted content and performance standards in core curricular areas
Ed. Code 60605.8, Common Core standards
H&S Code 11032, Narcotics, restricted dangerous drugs, and marijuana; definitions
Management Resources
California Department of Education Publication, Instructional Materials, FAQ
California Department of Education Publication, Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content, 2013
California Department of Education Publication, Guidelines for Piloting Textbooks and Instructional Materials, Policy # 01-05, rev. January 2015
Website, CSBA District and County Office of Education Legal Services
Website, Association of American Publishers
Website, California Academic Content Standards Commission, Common Core State Standards
Website, Department of Justice
Website, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
Website, California Department of Education
Website, CSBA
Cross References, 
0400, Comprehensive Plans
0410, Nondiscrimination In District Programs And Activities
0415, Equity
0440, District Technology Plan
0440, District Technology Plan
0460, Local Control And Accountability Plan
0460, Local Control And Accountability Plan
1220, Citizen Advisory Committees
1220, Citizen Advisory Committees
1312.2, Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials
1312.2, Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials
1312.2-E(1), Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials
1312.3, Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.3, Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.3-E(1), Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.3-E(2), Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.4, Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.4-E(1), Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures
1312.4-E(2), Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures
1325, Advertising And Promotion
1340, Access To District Records
1340, Access To District Records
1700, Relations Between Private Industry And The Schools
3220.1, Lottery Funds
3270, Sale And Disposal Of Books, Equipment And Supplies
3270, Sale And Disposal Of Books, Equipment And Supplies
3290, Gifts, Grants And Bequests
3311, Bids
3311, Bids
4136, Nonschool Employment
4143, Negotiations/Consultation
4236, Nonschool Employment
4243, Negotiations/Consultation
4331, Staff Development
4336, Nonschool Employment
5020, Parent Rights And Responsibilities
5020, Parent Rights And Responsibilities
5145.3, Nondiscrimination/Harassment
5145.3, Nondiscrimination/Harassment
6000, Concepts And Roles
6011, Academic Standards
6020, Parent Involvement
6020, Parent Involvement
6141, Curriculum Development And Evaluation
6141, Curriculum Development And Evaluation
6142.2, World Language Instruction
6142.2, World Language Instruction
6142.6, Visual And Performing Arts Education
6142.8, Comprehensive Health Education
6142.8, Comprehensive Health Education
6142.91, Reading/Language Arts Instruction
6142.92, Mathematics Instruction
6142.93, Science Instruction
6142.94, History-Social Science Instruction
6143, Courses Of Study
6143, Courses Of Study
6144, Controversial Issues
6146.1, High School Graduation Requirements
6161.11, Supplementary Instructional Materials
6161.2, Damaged Or Lost Instructional Materials
6162.5, Student Assessment
6162.6, Use Of Copyrighted Materials
6162.6, Use Of Copyrighted Materials
6163.1, Library Media Centers
6170.1, Transitional Kindergarten
6171, Title I Programs
6171, Title I Programs
6174, Education For English Learners
6174, Education For English Learners
6190, Evaluation Of The Instructional Program
9000, Role Of The Board
9270, Conflict Of Interest
9270-E(1), Conflict Of Interest
9322, Agenda/Meeting Materials
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