The ADVISORY COMMISSION ON TEXTBOOK SPECIFICATIONS (ACTS) is comprised of three participating Associations: the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA), the Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI), and the newly merged Association of Educational Publishers and the school division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The purpose of this Commission is to conduct studies and research programs and tests to determine durability and other pertinent performance factors of elementary and high school textbooks; to develop and recommend standards and specifications on manufacturing processes and materials for such textbooks in order to maintain appropriate standards of quality and performance.  Recently ACTS has also devoted considerable effort into developing requirements for high quality digital materials. There are eighteen voting members of the Commission, six being appointed by each of the three associations.

Members of companies representing the educational, publishing, and book manufacturing industries gather for the annual Instructional Materials Resource Conference (formerly ACTS Conference) in a selected location to review policy, hear presentations about the latest trends in the educational publishing industry, and share information about state instructional materials evaluation procedures. Click here for conference PRESS RELEASE.

A premiere publication developed by ACTS is the Manufacturing Standards and Specifications for Textbooks (MSST).  The purpose of the MSST has been to maintain appropriate physical standards of quality and performance for elementary and high school instructional materials, and may include textbooks, related educational materials, bound, unbound, kit or package form, and technology-based materials. These standards provide a format for publishers and content providers to fully disclose the quality of physical characteristics attended to in the production of the instructional materials. These standards and specifications are intended as a guide to aid the manufacturer, the publisher, the textbook administrator, and the general public.


The Book Manufacturers’ Institute is in its eighty second year of service to the ever important book industry. BMI has provided tremendous value to its member companies, and to all the individuals who have been part of its eighty year history. BMI member companies represent every facet of the book manufacturing industry, and produce the great majority of books ordered by the U.S. book publishing industry. These companies range from full service book manufacturers to companies specializing in the digital print market, specialty binderies, component printers, packagers, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers of a variety of materials and services.

Since 1933 BMI has been providing value to both its member companies and others who are associated with the book industry. From its efforts to promote readership and literacy to its unparalleled networking opportunities, BMI gives back to its members, to the book industry and to the communities our members do business in. BMI continues to provide a vital link between book manufacturers, publishers, suppliers, and governmental groups.


Three hundred companies are members of the Association of American Publishers. They span all categories of publishing and represent the major commercial, educational and professional companies as well as independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies.

Trade Division publishers develop and produce the fiction and non-fiction enjoyed by the general public, in ink-to-paper, eBook and audio versions. The School Division serves Kindergarten through 12th grades with the most advanced multiplatform curricula and assessment materials to educate and engage America’s youth.

AAP represents the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy.

Additionally, AAP works to showcase the value of content and the critical role of the dynamic U.S. book publishing industry around the world.

Association of American Publishers PreK-12 Learning Group: A division within AAP, the PreK-12 Learning Group serves its diverse membership by providing valuable resources and industry intelligence; fostering a fair, competitive and robust market; and encouraging the development of professional, quality content for teaching and learning. The Learning Group engages state, local and federal policy leaders on such issues as funding, curriculum, testing and literacy, and also organizes events, awards, and programs to support professionals at all levels.  In 2013, the School Division of the AAP merged with the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) to form the PreK-12 Learning Group, which combines AAP’s proven strengths in advocacy and legal affairs with AEP’s successful programs for the benefit of its members. Read more at


The Mission of the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA) is to support state education agencies in affecting student achievement through thorough review of alignment, accessibility and quality of instructional materials.

SIMRA’s purposes are to:

  • Foster a spirit of mutual helpfulness and cooperation among the administrators in the evaluation, adoption, purchase, and distribution of textbooks/instructional materials.
  • Arrange for continuing study and review of print and electronic textbooks/instructional materials manufacturing specifications, aiming toward the highest quality and most durable instructional product
  • Authorize special surveys, tests, and studies that could result in benefits to the various states and other adoption units in the nation.
  • Initiate action along any avenue to find the best component products for textbooks/instructional materials production.
  • Participate in the sharing of information to address issues of national as well as state concern.


  • Instructional Materials Resource Conference
  • ACTS Representatives

A copy of the Organization’s Form 990 will be made available upon request.