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Expeditionary Learning’s Open-Source Curriculum Hits 2 Million Downloads

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    April Hattori

A top-rated curriculum now in use in more than 1,000 New York State public schools has reached a significant national milestone: 2,011,268 downloads in less than two years. Expeditionary Learning – an education leader with two decades of success transforming classrooms in order to achieve deeper student learning and performance – created its Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum for New York State, but the free, open-source modules have taken off nationwide.

“Hitting this milestone shows that teachers everywhere are responding to what our open-source curriculum has to offer,” says Scott Hartl, President and CEO of Expeditionary Learning. “Teachers want to truly engage their students in meaningful, quality work that is tied to rigorous standards and character development – the heart of Expeditionary Learning’s mission. This curriculum was written by teachers for teachers, bringing them back to the reasons they went into teaching in the first place. We are committed to bringing this curriculum to teachers and students across the country for free – under a Creative Commons license.”

Scaling to reach teacher and student need nationally

“We drew the best practices from our network of 160 district and charter schools to create this curriculum, as well as practical teacher resources and professional services that all schools and teachers can use,” says Mr. Hartl. A non-profit organization, founded 20 years ago as a joint venture between Outward Bound and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Expeditionary Learning partners with district and charter schools in 33 states, as well as with districts and states around the country seeking strong learning and curriculum solutions to meet the Common Core.

“The impact of our work in and beyond New York State demonstrates the thirst educators nationally have for setting a higher bar for student achievement – one that unites academic performance, character, and high-quality student work to build the skills students need to succeed in college, in career, and in life,” Mr. Hartl says.

Highest ratings from state and independent reviewers

New York City, the state of Connecticut, and EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) – a collaboration of education leaders from Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island – have all given top marks to Expeditionary Learning’s teaching modules within its Grades 3-8 ELA curriculum. EQuIP and Connecticut have granted Expeditionary Learning units the highest “exemplar” rating, and the NYC Department of Education recognized Expeditionary Learning as among “the highest-quality Common Core-aligned curriculum materials currently available.”

In addition to its high curriculum grades, Expeditionary Learning has received high ratings for its “whole school” model: Mathematica Policy Research found statistically significant positive impacts in both reading and math among Expeditionary Learning middle-school students, with students in New York and Washington, D.C. performing months ahead of their public-school peers.

Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum modules are free to download and available on New York State’s EngageNY website and Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum site.