Open Educational Resources

11-State Coalition To Develop OER for K-12 Math and ELA

A coalition representing 11 state education agencies is setting out to create open educational resources to support math and English/language arts in K–12 schools.

Called the K–12 OER Collaborative, the group today released a formal request for proposals seeking "full-course OER" for all grade levels in English/language arts and for grades K–11 in mathematics (through Algebra II).

The resources will be aligned to Common Core State Standards and will:

  • Include comprehensive instructional materials for each course;
  • Contain "strategies, activities and resources that allow teachers to differentiate instruction"; and
  • Offer a full suite of assessments, "including performance tasks with student work examples, formative assessment guidance, unit-level summative assessments and rubrics to help teachers understand and interpret student performance."

The materials are to be released under Creative Commons Attribution license version 4.0, meaning that the materials can be freely copied and redistributed in any medium without additional cost.

"Studies of high performance 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," according tot he group. "OER fully support that type of deep instructor engagement and the creation of educational communities of practice that support advanced professional development opportunities for teachers."

"This is a great project, for at least two reasons," said Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn in a statement released by the group. (Washington was one of the original steering committee members for the initiative, along with Utah and Idaho.) "First, it's going to support local control by empowering districts to adapt the materials to their own community needs. Second, it's a low-cost and high-quality way to help students meet our state's learning standards."

"I would have liked to have access to free, high quality, locally adaptive materials like these when I was a district superintendent," said Rob Saxton, Oregon deputy superintendent of public instruction, also in a prepared statement.

Other states that are participating in the initiative include Arizona, California, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin.

The project is being funded through a "public-private partnership to preserve local control of flexible, high-quality educational materials," according to the group.

Aside from the 11 state education agencies, groups involved in the initiative include:

Letters of intent from content developers are due Jan. 9. Application details can be found at http://goo.gl/forms/gohdUxE5Gw. Up to eight individual contractors will be selected for the project. Further information is available by contacting TLA's Jennifer Wolfe at Jennifer.wolfe@learningaccelerator.org.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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