An article published in EdWeek today describes a RAND study of teachers who use the EngageNY web site’s materials for Common Core English and math. (EngageNY is a web site of Common Core materials published by the New York State Education Department.) The survey found that the math materials are used much more often than the ELA materials, that K-8 materials are used much more often than the high school materials, and that most teachers modify the material for their own use.
Liana Loewus, the author of the article, asked me for my thoughts while writing the article. I wound up being quoted extensively in it. I noted that “It’s a great resource, particularly for challenging problems. The bad news is that a lot of the problems are very high level. … It feels like it was written by a college professor.” Unfortunately, many of the high school lessons are poorly organized and poorly scaffolded – there are very few lower-level problems to introduce topics, and the problems are very disorganized. However, the Creative Commons license used in the lessons allows anyone to modify and publish lessons for nonprofit use. This alone makes EngageNY an incredibly useful resource, despite its many flaws.