MENLO PARK, CA, November 2, 2017 -- Open Up Resources, the nonprofit provider of openly licensed curriculum for K–12 schools, is developing two new full-course English language arts curricula: Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing, which it will create with the University of Delaware’s Sharon Walpole, and an enhanced version of Louisiana state’s ELA Guidebooks 2.0 for high school, which it is creating with the state of Louisiana and Odell Education.
The partnerships cap an astounding first year for the startup nonprofit. Since its launch last September, educators from more than 3,500 school districts, covering a quarter of US schools, have engaged with Open Up Resources to explore or use its first two curricula—Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math, which was released as OER in August, and the forthcoming EL Education K–5 Language Arts—positioning the nonprofit for unprecedented growth as additional curricula are added.
Its fifth and sixth curricula, Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing and the high school curriculum based on Louisiana’s ELA Guidebooks 2.0, continue an impressive foray into the ELA curriculum space.
The first ELA curriculum from Open Up Resources—EL Education K–5 Language Arts, developed by renowned curriculum author EL Education—has earned numerous accolades:
- Louisiana’s Department of Education awarded a Tier 1 rating, the highest score awarded by the state, to the K–2 curricula. This rating—issued by teams of teacher leaders who consider eight criteria, including text quality, standards alignment, and support for below-benchmark readers—has only been awarded to a quarter of the curricula reviewed to date. The LA DOE is in the process of reviewing grades 3–5 of the curriculum.
- The Wake County Public School System (NC), the 15th-largest district in the US, adopted the curriculum.
- After implementing the curriculum, the Scintilla Charter Academy in Valdosta, GA, found that students using the curriculum improved their English language arts scores on the Georgia Milestone assessment scores dramatically in just one year, with grades 3 and 4 seeing the most substantial gains: 87% and 72% increases, respectively.
With the addition of Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing and the high school curriculum inspired by Louisiana’s ELA Guidebooks 2.0, Open Up Resources will offer a complete catalogue of ELA core programs, with multiple options at the K–5 level.
The two new curricula expand and diversify the catalogue:
Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing: Open Up Resources will work with Walpole to develop an enhanced and updated version of Bookworms, a K–5 curriculum whose reading program received exemplary reviews from curriculum review site EdReports. The program is designed to get all students reading grade-level texts via pioneering teacher routines that simplify and scaffold differentiated instruction, and the updated curriculum will incorporate new writing instructional guides. The curriculum is being refined based on classroom feedback from a 2017–18 beta release and will be released as OER for 2018–19 adoption.
High School ELA curriculum based on ELA Guidebooks 2.0: Open Up Resources, the state of Louisiana, and Odell Education will create a high school ELA curriculum that builds on the ELA Guidebooks 2.0, a lauded curriculum developed by Louisiana educators as part of a collaborative initiative organized by the Louisiana DOE. The curriculum will be guided by deep standards alignment, provide extensive supports for English language learners, and include an expansive writing instruction component. It will come complete with literary and informational texts, as well as robust culminating tasks. This new core program will be refined based on classroom feedback from a 2019–20 beta release and will be released as OER for 2020–21 adoption.
“Our first-year traction makes Open Up Resources the fastest growing startup in K–12. The exceptional interest in our curricula confirms that districts are craving alternatives to the costly, often poorly standards-aligned materials that have dominated K–12. We are delighted to provide excellent alternatives to all schools, regardless of district resources, and the expansion of our ELA offering to all K–12 grades will accelerate the fulfilment of our equity mission,” said Open Up Resources CEO Larry Singer.
Open Up Resources curricula are developed against the highest measures of standards alignment, then distributed freely to schools to promote instructional equity. They incorporate differentiation resources and English language learner tools designed to help teachers reach all learners. Districts can select from a range of professional development options to support the adoption of the curricula. Open Up Resources distributes the materials in multiple digital formats while also providing essential services such as printing to ease implementation.
Districts interested in exploring the curricula should visit openupresources.org.