Charters Play 'Important Role' in OER Movement

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To the Editor:

"Scaling Up Open Resources," an article from the special report Navigating New Curriculum Choices (March 29, 2017), brought attention to a growing field that is trying to address a great inefficiency in education. Millions of teachers are working, individually, to sift through the proliferation of educational content on the internet.

In addition to the organizations this article mentions, charter schools are emerging as key players in the OER landscape. Some charter school operators, including mine, Match Education; Achievement First; and Edward Brooke are already sharing their curriculum materials. For years, these schools have understood the limitations of traditional textbooks in providing rigorous, standards-based curriculum. With the autonomy to rethink how and what teachers teach, many charters have created and curated a bank of resources that have proven effective in the classroom. By sharing what they have learned, these charters fulfill their original promise to be a source of innovation in education.

But to be relevant in this space, charter schools will need to do more than just open up their online files. At Match, for example, we are investing $1 million a year in our open-source curriculum website, Match Fishtank, where teachers can view and download the lesson plans, assessments, and grading rubrics our teachers use in class every day.

We are new to this crowded field but are encouraged by the early feedback we've received from teachers working in traditional and charter schools alike. With the right investments, charters can play an important role in the advancement of OER.

Claire Kaplan
Executive Director, Match Export
Match Education
Boston, Mass.

Vol. 36, Issue 30, Page 25

Published in Print: May 10, 2017, as Charters Play 'Important Role' in OER Movement
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