Today, Public Knowledge, along with a broad coalition of more than 80 education, library, technology, public interest, and legal organizations, called on the White House to take administrative action to ensure federally funded educational materials are made available as Open Education Resources (OER) that are free to use, share, and improve.
The call comes in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) request for ideas to strengthen the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. The executive action envisioned by the coalition would build upon the Administration’s strong leadership in advancing public access to publicly funded resources with a strong Executive Branch-wide policy for the open licensing of educational, training, and instructional materials created with federal funds.
The signatories have outlined five core principles for Administration policy on this issue:
- Adopt a broad definition of educational materials;
- Provide free access via the Internet;
- Create conditions for resources that enable reuse;
- Require prompt implementation; and
- Regular reporting of progress and results.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“There’s no question that we’re living in the digital era. We’re now at a critical point where publicly funded educational resources are available online, but can’t be viewed by the very public that pays for them. We’re asking the Administration to make federally funded educational materials available as Open Education Resources that are free to use, share and improve. This way all Americans have the opportunity to engage with the educational materials they themselves funded.”
You can view the full letter here. Members of the public can join the call for opening up taxpayer funded educational materials by tweeting with hashtag #OERUSA.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.