News Release

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Trisha Thomas
Illustrative Mathematics

Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math Provides Districts a High-Quality, Freely Available OER Full Basil Curriculum Designed to Deepen Student Thinking and Increase Mathematical Achievement

Authored by Illustrative Mathematics and available through Open Up Resources, Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math is now available to districts following a successful pilot in numerous districts.

Tucson, AZ – August 24, 2017 — Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math is now freely available to school districts. Developed by Illustrative Mathematics, this is the first openly licensed complete core program released by Open Up Resources, the nonprofit provider of openly licensed curriculum for K–12 schools. Illustrative Mathematics is the nonprofit founded by standards author Bill McCallum to improve mathematics instruction in U.S. schools

Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math is a problem-based curriculum that fosters discussion-filled classrooms and encourages students to show their mathematical thinking in multiple ways. The curriculum, which has been published as an Open Educational Resource under Creative Commons license CC BY, is available in both digital and print formats at

Developed in response to the need for a middle school math curriculum that fully addresses standards and develops students' mathematical thinking skills, Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math is “built on the coherence and progressions in the standards, and designed with tasks, norms, and routines to help teachers engage students in a problem-solving classroom,” says lead author Bill McCallum. “The Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math curriculum gives us a bearing on a world where learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics. I am proud of the finely crafted work of our team of teachers and mathematicians.”

“Every student deserves access to excellent curriculum, no matter the resources of their school district,” says Larry Singer, Open Up Resources CEO. “Today’s open release of Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math sets the standard for our work, as we make freely available a core basil program of truly exceptional quality and support districts across the country with its implementation.”

During the 2016–17 school year, numerous districts nationwide helped fine-tune the curriculum as part of a yearlong pilot. Daily teacher feedback was used by the Illustrative Mathematics authoring team in the refinement of the materials.

The pilot release districts included: Sunnyside Unified School District (AZ), Buncombe County Schools (NC), Vancouver Public Schools (WA), Evergreen Public Schools (WA), Tumwater School District (WA), and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (CA). All of these districts are continuing to use the curriculum, and most are adopting district-wide.

“We adopted the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum district-wide because we saw huge increases in student engagement with the materials,” says Corrine Williams, Mathematics Specialist at Evergreen Public Schools. “Students were constantly talking about math, using precise language, and constructing mathematically sound arguments. The curriculum facilitates productive struggle for our learners, and teachers have been excited to shift their instruction from being the ‘sage on the stage’ to the ‘guide on the side.’”

“This is the complete, aligned, big-picture-driven curriculum that we have been seeking for many years, says Stefanie Buckner, Mathematics Curriculum Specialist for Buncombe County Schools. “There are products on the market aligned to content or practice, but Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math is truly the first that aligns in equal intensity to both. We are excited to move to a district-wide adoption in all three grades this year.”

A survey of the teachers who used the curriculum in its beta release showed that 90 percent found the curriculum highly effective or effective, and another 90 percent said that they would either recommend—or already had recommended—that their peers use the program.

The math curriculum is expected to give districts an 80 percent overall savings versus the cost of adopting materials from traditional publishers. Districts need only invest in implementation services, such as printing and professional development, which Open Up Resources and Illustrative Mathematics provide.

Districts interested in exploring Illustrative Mathematics 6–8 Math can visit