High School Biology Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Browse the Evaluation Reports

Read Evaluation Reports by Textbook:

Click on the links below to read detailed Content and Instructional Analyses for the Matter and Energy Transformations and Cell Structure and Function topics.

Note: Project 2061 decided not to publish detailed evaluation reports on Heath Biology, although ratings for this book appear in the charts below summarizing the instructional analysis findings. Even though Heath Biology was on state adoption lists when the evaluation began, by the time the evaluation was completed Heath had decided not to publish any new editions of that textbook and the reviewed 1991 edition was not likely to be considered for new adoptions.

View Maps Summarizing Content Analysis Findings: (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Click on the links below to view maps that summarize the textbook evaluation's findings for content alignment and coherence. Each map displays key ideas, prerequisite ideas, and related ideas as well as the connections among them. The "Topic Maps" that follow contrast the coherent set of key ideas that the reviewers looked for with a composite of the treatment actually found in all nine evaluated textbooks. For the Matter and Energy Transformations topic, each "Textbook Map" shows what the reviewers found in an individual textbook in terms of content alignment and coherence. You can also access the maps for Cell Structure and Function and Matter and Energy Transformations from the Content Analysis reports (see Read Evaluation Reports by Textbook above).

A Guide to Reading the Maps:

Black boxes contain the target key ideas that served directly as the basis for the analysis.

Red boxes contain prerequisites needed for the key ideas (from the same or even an earlier grade range).

Blue boxes contain ideas that are closely related to the key ideas and that could strengthen students' understanding of them.

Lines with arrowheads: an arrow between two ideas implies that understanding one contributes in some way to understanding the other.

Lines without arrowheads: a line between two ideas implies that they are related, though no conceptual sequence seems necessary.

View Charts Summarizing Instructional Analysis Ratings: (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Click on the links below to view charts that summarize the instructional ratings for each high school biology textbook evaluated. The first chart shows the average of the ratings for all four topics; the other four charts show the ratings for the individual topics. Because the reviewers used criterion-specific ratings for Category VII: Enhancing the Science Learning Environment—not the general ratings used for categories I through VI—the summary charts do not include the ratings for category VII. The instructional analysis section of the evaluation report for each textbook presents the ratings for category VII.