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Expeditionary Learning Curriculum Recognized for Excellence

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    April Hattori

NEW YORK – April 7, 2014 – Expeditionary Learning’s Grades 3-8 English Language Arts curriculum, created in partnership with New York State, received the highest ratings from two sources – EquiP and the state of Connecticut – that have conducted rigorous review of materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum, recognized by the New York City Department of Education as among “the highest-quality Common Core-aligned curriculum materials currently available,” incorporates the development of Deeper Learning skills that have been identified as essential for school, work and life success - mastering academic content, learning how to learn, and building higher-order critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills.

The open source curriculum is being used by more than 1000 schools across New York State, including 224 schools in New York City.  It also has expanded to schools in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, and New Jersey. So far, the curriculum has been downloaded more than 1.6 million times on the EngageNY website

EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) gave its highest "Exemplar” rating to select units in Expeditionary Learning’s Grades 7 and 8 curricula (http://www.achieve.org/EQuIP). These units engage students in compelling content focused on such topics as water sustainability, the development of the adolescent brain, and varying perspectives on World War II.  Reviewers noted that the curriculum “demonstrates the key shifts by having students read different types of text and read, write, and speak in the course of the lesson and unit…and pays special attention to using best practices in assessment and supporting the needs of diverse learners.”

In Connecticut, the State Board of Education reviewed more than 10 Expeditionary Learning curriculum units in Grades 3-8 and gave all of them its highest “exemplary” rating for quality and alignment to the CCSS (http://www.ctcorestandards.org).  All of the units were reviewed by teams of teachers and Connecticut State Department of Education staff using the rigorous EQuIP evaluation tools. The reviewers noted, “the unit is exemplary because it makes reading texts closely, examining textual evidence, and discerning deep meaning, a central focus of instruction.  It also includes a progression of academic vocabulary instruction where skills advance and deepen over time.”

EQuiP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) is an initiative of the non-profit Achieve, a lead organization in the creation and adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Its goal is to increase the supply of high quality lessons and units, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, to all teachers.

“We are honored our curriculum, created by teachers for teachers, has met the high standards of the EQuiP rubrics,” said Scott Hartl, President & CEO of Expeditionary Learning. “For 20 years, our approach has helped students meet or exceed standards by providing them the qualities of Deeper Learning that have been identified as central to the Common Core initiative and life success in the 21st century.”

Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum is available on New York State’s EngageNY website and Expeditionary Learning’s Common Core Success website.