NO. According to the CDE website, as of 2013, local Education Agencies (LEA) do not need to use state adopted materials as long as material selected align to the Common Core Standards and the majority of the committee who reviews materials locally are classroom teachers.
MathLinks was written from ground up, after CCSS-M and other guiding documents (such as the Progressions Documents) were released and fully digested by the authors. Students will experience a cohesive, coherent, and efficient treatment of the content and practices detailed in CCSS-M. Strong conceptual development of all topics using strategies appropriate for struggling students makes content accessible to all learners, while providing enrichment for those who soar. The program is organized into 16 consumable packets so that students and teachers focus on manageable chunks of content. The program is filled with engaging activities, including many that use easily accessed manipulatives. Students routinely tackle problems and tasks, which are embedded into the curriculum. Skill builders in every lesson provide spiraled practice of all skills and concepts.
The “low floor-high ceiling” design of lessons allows teachers to differentiate instruction within lessons. For example, students may use a model to build a pattern and graph inputs and outputs, but questions that push student thinking about concepts related to slope-intercept form of a line are also included.
Teachers may choose to speed through or skip review lessons. Then time may be used for proficiency challenges and tasks, which will test advanced students to to use their mathematics in non-routine ways.
Packets give students a manageable chunk of content to study. They allow students to focus on mathematics, rather than copying problems. Structured workspace helps struggling students to see patterns and complete assignments. Advanced learners answer questions more completely because space is provided for writing.
All components are available electronically. Student packets are provided in a no-print format. Teachers may project no-print packets for instructional use, and students may access them and copy work onto their own paper if they lose their packets.
At the end of each packet, students practice “selected response” questions and complete a knowledge check.
In the assessment component, two forms of a quiz and a proficiency challenge are provided for each packet, as well as at least one task, which often takes the form of a project. Multiple choice test questions for each packet are provided. These are intended to be combined to make periodic, summative assessments.
Design principles, based on the work of experts such as Julie Sliva Spitzer were incorporated into the program. These include paying special attention to knowing your learner, creating a positive classroom culture, increasing communication and participation, differentiating instruction, and making connection. For example, the consumable packet with structured workspace helps students stay focused. Think-aloud sentence starters help students model appropriate thinking processes and behaviors.
Design principles, based on the SIOP model and other research-based work were incorporated into the program. These include attention to lesson preparation, building background, comprehensible input, instructional strategies, student interaction, and review. For example, every lesson includes a clear content objective, vocabulary activity, and vocabulary list. Suggested group configurations encourage students to practice language with elaborate responses.