Open Up Resources Curriculum Development Partners Land Prestigious Education Honors

MENLO PARK, CA —  April, 28, 2017 – Open Up Resources, the nonprofit provider of expert-authored, openly licensed curriculum to K–12 schools, is pleased to announce that key members of its first partners, Illustrative Mathematics and EL Education, have just won two of the country’s most prestigious educational awards.

Open Up Resources works with its partners to develop excellent, free curricula that many districts are using to replace textbooks from traditional publishers, and both awards give testimony to the quality and effectiveness of the content.

Kristin Umland, AMS Award for Impact
Kristin Umland, Vice President for Content Development at Illustrative Mathematics, received the 2017 American Mathematical Society’s Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.

The American Mathematical Society honored Umland for her role as one of the driving forces in creating Illustrative Mathematics and her effort toward improving mathematics education at the precollege level. Founded by William McCallum, one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards Math team, Illustrative Mathematics has built an open online resource that has been providing essential resources for understanding and implementing the CCSS since 2011. Umland has been instrumental in forming a community of 100 editors and 550 reviewers who have created more than 1,200 highly vetted math problems and tasks illustrating the standards, which are used by thousands of educators nationwide.

Illustrative Mathematics has partnered with Open Up Resources to develop its first full course curriculum, amplifying the organization's impact on mathematical education.

“Kristin’s ability to strike the balance between mathematical integrity and the needs of students and teachers is unparalleled,” McCallum said. “Her work for Illustrative Mathematics has been both foundational and transformative.”

Sydney Chaffee, 2017 National Teacher of the Year
Sydney Chaffee, a ninth grade teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School, has been named the the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, a program run by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Chaffee teaches humanities at Codman Academy, where she uses the EL Education model to focus on the intersection of history and literature. She has also contributed to the design of its 8th grade English Language Arts materials. She was named National Teacher of the year for her exceptional work in putting students at the center of everything she does and helping them learn from lessons of the past to make change in the world, according to the CCSSO. “I want my students to understand that they are powerful and can make change in the world—that whatever the future is they want to see, they have the power and agency to make that happen,” said Chaffee.

EL Education is an acclaimed school transformation specialist whose work with schools, including Codman Academy Charter Public School, has reached more than 100,000 students since its founding nearly 25 years ago. Its approach to teaching and learning emphasizes knowledge and skills needed for success in college, career and life, character development, and increased achievement expectations.

The OER Provider Challenging Traditional Textbook Publishers
With more than $12 million in support from philanthropies including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The Helmsley Charitable Trust, Open Up Resources collaborates with groups such as Illustrative Mathematics and EL Education to create full-course OER curricula that can serve as complete replacements for the costly textbooks offered by traditional publishers. It works with institutions such as Stanford University and Student Achievement Partners to ensure the quality of these offerings, then publishes the materials and provides comprehensive support services to districts to ensure successful implementations.

The goal is to provide districts with more effective, standards-aligned educational materials than those created by the publishers that dominate the K–12 marketplace.

Open Up Resources worked with Illustrative Mathematics to create its first curriculum, a middle school math curriculum currently being refined in a six-district pilot and available for 2017–18 district-wide adoption.

This spring, Open Up Resources partnered with EL Education to offer a new comprehensive K–5 English Language Arts (ELA) core program that builds on the groundbreaking curriculum EL Education created in 2012 for New York State’s EngageNY effort. It is now available for district adoption.

“These accolades demonstrate exactly why we’re partnering with Illustrative Mathematics and EL Education,” said Open Up Resources CEO Larry Singer. “It’s not just the products that they create, but the people behind those products and those using them in classrooms that speak to the excellence of these materials. And it’s leaders like Kristin and Sydney who make us believe we can truly revolutionize the K–12 materials world, to the benefit of students.”

About Open Up Resources
Open Up Resources is a nonprofit that develops the highest quality, openly licensed, full-course curricula for reduced cost to districts. Formerly the K–12 OER Collaborative, Open Up Resources partners with the country’s foremost materials experts in the development of superb, freely licensed instructional materials, then provides districts with necessary support for implementation with fidelity. Its mission: to provide students with equal access to rigorous, standards-aligned materials, while easing adoption by districts.