News

OER K-12 Bill Passes in U.S. Washington State

Cable Green, March 1st, 2012

There was exciting open policy news from U.S. Washington State (WA) last evening.

HB 2337 “Regarding open educational resources in K-12 education” passed the Senate (47 to 1) and is on its way back to the House for final concurrence. It already passed the House 88 to 7 before moving to the Senate.

The bill directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to support the 295 WA K-12 school districts in learning about and adopting existing open educational resources (OER) aligned with WA and common core curricular standards (e.g., CK-12 textbooks & Curriki). The bill also directs OSPI to “provide professional development programs that offer support, guidance, and instruction regarding the creation, use, and continuous improvement of open courseware.”

The opening section of the bill reads:

  • “The legislature finds the state’s recent adoption of common core K-12 standards provides an opportunity to develop high-quality, openly licensed K-12 courseware that is aligned with these standards. By developing this library of openly licensed courseware and making it available to school districts free of charge, the state and school districts will be able to provide students with curricula and texts while substantially reducing the expenses that districts would otherwise incur in purchasing these materials. In addition, this library of openly licensed courseware will provide districts and students with a broader selection of materials, and materials that are more up-to-date.”

While focus of this bill is to help school districts identify existing high-quality, free, openly licensed, common core state standards aligned resources available for local adoption; any content built with public funds, must be licensed under “an attribution license.”

Representative Reuven Carlyle has been a leader working on open education (including the Open Course Library) in WA for years and has blogged about it: here, here, here and here.

Representative Carlyle introducing HB2337 in the House:

Creative Commons’ Director of Global Learning, Cable Green, testifying about the impact of the bill on elementary education in the Senate:

WA is poised to follow the good work of Utah, Brazil, and so many others who have gone before.

This legislature has declared that the status quo — $130M / year for expensive, paper-only textbooks that are, on average, 7-11 years out of date — is unacceptable. WA policy makers instead decided their 1 million+ elementary students deserve better and they have acted.

Congratulations Washington State!

4 Responses to “OER K-12 Bill Passes in U.S. Washington State”

  1. hollis sankar says:

    Well done USA.
    At least other countries will have some experience to analyse and follow.
    This will encourage the utilisation of Open Resources.
    Looking foward to OER Week 2012.
    Let us continue the revolution….for our children’s sake.

    Hollis Sankar
    Curriculum Coordinator–Science
    Ministry of Education
    Trinidad and Tobago

  2. Dan says:

    Awesome for WA. How do I make this happen in Florida?

  3. Lystra Sampson-Ovid says:

    This decision will add some credibility to the OER movement for K-12 education. The OERs for Open Schools project initiated by the Commonwealth of Learning with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation recently launched OERs developed for secondary schools. Let’s keep the vision of quality education resources being available to ALL a reality.

  4. Kyle Hamilton says:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Laws/House/2337-S2.SL.pdf

    It was signed into law, effective 2012 Jun 07. Might you create a new blog post on the update? :)

    -Kyle H