Federal

U.S. Ed. Department Signs Up 13 States for #GoOpen Initiative

By Benjamin Herold — February 27, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki. Cross-posted from the Curriculum Matters blog.

Thirteen states and 40 school districts are joining the U.S. Department of Education’s open education resource initiative, #GoOpen, federal officials announced today.

The Education Department launched its #GoOpen initiative, which encourages states and districts to use open resources, last October.

Open education resources are available for free, unlike traditional textbooks and workbooks, and are often released under licenses that allow them to be shared or altered by users. They’ve posed a challenge to commercial publishers, which say many open resources are oversimplified or lacking. Districts and teachers are still figuring out how to manage, evaluate, and use the materials.

But they’ve been embraced by the Education Department, which recently proposed a set of regulations for open curricula and hired a full-time staff person focused on the resources. ESSA, the new federal education law, also allows states to target federal grant money toward open education resources.

The #GoOpen states and districts are tasked with developing strategies for the use of such materials.

In a press release, John King, the acting education secretary, said the resources can increase equity “by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high-quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content.”

Education department officials said the materials allow districts to invest in technology and other needs instead of costly curricular resources.

Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are in the first “cohort” of states to launch #GoOpen Initiatives. The states will develop technology strategies that prominently feature the use of open education resources, develop repositories for open resources, and will share strategies and lessons with one another.

The participating districts will also create strategies for the use of open education resources. Thirty-one districts will replace at least one textbook with an open resource. Nine districts will “mentor” those districts. (See the full list of districts here.)

The department has the support of a slew of organizations and companies: The Center for Digital Education is creating a guide for selecting digital resources; Creative Commons, which licenses open content, will be holding workshops for districts hoping to use more open resources; Amazon Education will provide infrastructure to the Education Department; and ASCD will provide professional development through an online course, among other supporters.

The professional development organization ASCD also released a set of case studies and polls on open education resources tied to the #GoOpen initiative today. The case studies highlighted collaborations between school districts in California, Ohio, and Wisconsin and in rural schools. The poll, conducted in late January through the organization’s Smartbrief newsletter, found that more than 50 percent of teachers surveyed are in schools and districts where the use of open resources is prevalent.


Related stories:


for the latest news on ed-tech policies, practices, and trends.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Pandemic Tests Limits of Cardona's Collaborative Approach as Education Secretary
He's sought the image of a veteran educator among former peers, but COVID has forced him to take a tough stance toward some state leaders.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter speak to Mia Arias, 10, during their visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter speak to Mia Arias, 10, during a visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal White House Launches Hispanic Education Initiative Led by Miguel Cardona
President Joe Biden said his administration intends to address the "systemic causes" of educational disparities faced by Hispanic students.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona writes down and draws positive affirmations on poster board with students during his visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits students in New York City at P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school in the Bronx last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How Biden Will Mandate Teacher Vaccines, Testing in Some States That Don't Require Them
President Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan will create new teacher vaccination and testing requirements in some states through worker safety rules.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela administers a COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site for at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP