Free, Openly Licensed Curriculum Receives Highest-Ever Score for K–5 Curriculum on EdReports' Rigorous Review

MENLO PARK, Calif. (March 6, 2018) – EL Education K–5 Language Arts, the first English Language Arts curriculum from nonprofit publisher Open Up Resources, has received the highest review score ever given to a K–5 ELA curriculum by EdReports.

The nationally acclaimed curriculum, authored by K–12 innovator EL Education and offered by Open Up Resources, is a comprehensive core curriculum that combines lesson materials and text study to challenge students to think critically about real-world topics. It has been designed as an open educational resource, meaning that it is free for schools to adopt.

Considered ‘the Consumer Reports of instructional materials,’ EdReports is an independent nonprofit that reviews K–12 curricula for standards alignment and quality. Under EdReports’ extensive analysis process, a diverse group of highly-trained educators evaluated and scored the curriculum against detailed criteria for three categories:

  • Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards
  • Knowledge Building with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

Out of a total possible score of 696 points, EL Education K–5 Language Arts earned 668 points, making it the highest-rated K–5 ELA series ever reviewed by EdReports.

“Created by teachers for teachers, our curriculum imbues over 25 years of EL Education’s experience in literacy instruction that inspires educators and sparks students’ excitement for learning. This recognition is a testament to our mission to create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations and students achieve more than they think possible,” said Scott Hartl, President and CEO of EL Education.

The standout review follows the recent announcement that Open Up Resources’ first curriculum, for middle school math, earned the highest rating EdReports had ever given to any math curriculum, meaning that the first two curricula offered by Open Up Resources are now the best-rated programs for middle school math and elementary ELA.

“Open Up Resources was founded to raise the bar for K–12 curriculum and bring higher-quality materials to schools, free of charge. The chart-topping EdReports reviews of our first two curricula shows that we are delivering on that promise,” said Larry Singer, CEO of Open Up Resources.

“The EdReports reviews confirm what our team has already observed in our work with the first two Open Up Resources curricula: the materials are best in class,” said Steve Holmes, the Superintendent of Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, which uses both curricula. “The fact that they are also free and openly-licensed is icing on the cake, and tremendous news for equity in education, allowing resource-lean districts like ours to access the very best curriculum.”

The EdReports review of EL Education K–5 Language Arts adds to the evidence of its top-notch quality. Recently, Louisiana’s Department of Education awarded the the curriculum with a Tier 1 rating, the highest designation given by the state in its teacher-led review process.

The curriculum, which has been piloted in schools across the country and adopted by districts such as Wake County Public School System in North Carolina – the 15th-largest district in the US–has been shown to foster strong student outcomes:

  • An 18-district study by Mathematica Policy Research found that teachers using EL Education’s K–5 Language Arts curriculum engaged students in more higher-order thinking after receiving aligned professional development—and that novice teachers using the curriculum were three times more likely to focus on asking students higher-order thinking questions.
  • Reading proficiency for students at the Scintilla Charter Academy in Valdosta, GA, grew 10 percentage points more than the state average after the school implemented the curriculum, according to a recent analysis.

"The EL Education K–5 Language Arts curriculum is extremely comprehensive, so the high EdReports scores come as no surprise. Since we began using these superb materials, I've seen my teachers shift to spending their cognitive energy to focus squarely on the needs of their students, because they have excellent materials at their fingertips and no longer need to supplement our curriculum,” said Stacey Cole, Director of Education Services for Fort Dodge Community School District in Iowa.

“In addition, we love the support for our English language learners, which scaffold to the same bar for all students instead of differentiating in a manner that gives some students less. Open Up Resources has done a major service for K–12 by building advanced ELL support into all of their curricula," said Cole.

With more than $14 million in support from philanthropies including the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Open Up Resources partners with expert content creators to make best-in-class OER curricula available to school districts everywhere. Open Up Resources has partnered with Illustrative Mathematics in the development of a high school math curriculum for release in summer, 2019. The nonprofit will also release three more OER curricula for English Language Arts by summer, 2019.

To see the full EdReports Review, visit Districts interested in  EL Education K-5 Language Arts can visit

Open Up Resources is a nonprofit that develops the highest quality K12 curricula available and provides them to districts for free, as open educational resources, to promote instructional equity. Formerly the K–12 OER Collaborative, Open Up Resources partners with the country’s foremost materials experts to create superb instructional materials, then equips districts with the support they need to implement with fidelity. Its mission: to provide students with equal access to rigorous, standards-aligned materials, while easing adoption by districts.

EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) is a leading national K-12 nonprofit helping to build great schools in diverse communities across America.  For over 25 years, EL Education has been bringing to life an expanded vision of student achievement that includes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high quality work. EL Education drives results: teachers fulfill their highest aspirations and students have both the capacity and the passion to build to a better, more just world. EL Education’s educator-experts work with district and charter schools across 35 states, serving over 200,000 students and 16,000 teachers in our school network and multi-year literacy partnerships.  For more information, visit