A coalition of 11 states will create comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources (OER) supporting K-12 mathematics and English language arts aligned with state learning standards. This new partnership, The K-12 OER Collaborative, is being coordinated by a nonprofit, The Learning Accelerator (TLA). It aims to offer additional choice to local education agencies, significantly reduce the costs of instructional materials, and provide much greater flexibility for states to adapt educational content.
“This is a great project that is going to benefit schools, educators and students, for several reasons,” said Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. “First, it’s going to support local control of educational materials by empowering districts to adapt them to their own community needs. Second, it’s a low-cost and high-quality way to help students meet our state’s learning standards.”
“Every year, school districts across the country spend over $8 billion on instructional materials and textbooks that can fall into disrepair and don’t provide an opportunity for timely updates,” said Jennifer Wolfe, partner at The Learning Accelerator. “By harnessing new improvements in technology and online content, we can offer students dynamic digital content that is organized, searchable, tagged and aligned with learning standards.”
Utah, Washington, and Idaho were the initial steering committee states for the K-12 OER Collaborative. Other states supporting the project include Arizona, California, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The Collaborative is supported with expertise from state content specialists, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Creative Commons, Lumen Learning, Achieve, The Learning Accelerator, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA), and the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM).
“Educators can have a hand in shaping and amending the content,” said Wolfe. “And by banding together, states and districts can transition from expensive and rigidly controlled materials to open educational resources that they can freely and legally use, adapt and redistribute.”
Wolfe said that studies of high performing school systems around the world show that the quality of teaching and learning improves when instructors are more deeply engaged in the creation and continuous improvement of the learning materials and assessments used in their classrooms. She said the K-12 OER Collaborative project supports this type of deep instructor engagement and advanced professional development opportunities for teachers as well as promotes collaborative learning among students.
The Collaborative is issuing a competitive RFP, open to all content developers. The RFP specifications have been informed by extensive educator input with the goal of creating OER that offers a full range of instructional supports and state learning standard alignments. These materials will be vetted by teachers, openly licensed, regularly updated, aligned to assessments, and available for free in both digital and print format. Visit the K-12 OER Collaborative website for more details: