Our Free Product is Changing. Here’s Why.

Our Free Product is Changing. Here’s Why.

Since founding Newsela six years ago, we’ve been committed to curating the highest quality, most engaging content available, preparing it for classroom instruction, and delivering it to teachers and learners of all abilities every day.

Along the way, we’ve always listened to our community. We’re hearing that dated, textbook-based curriculum is not engaging digital-savvy students. In response, teachers are cobbling together content found in web searches, which is often not reliable, accessible, aligned to standards or safe.

I believe content that’s personalized to student interests and accessible to readers of all levels,  while aligning to district instructional objectives, lies at the heart of solving these challenges. We have an ambitious goal: to serve as a one-stop shop for anything that teachers want to teach or learners want to learn, with the relevance and variety that teachers and students crave and the alignment to standards that they need. And we want to provide it all at a price that's affordable to every school, regardless of zip code.

It is through this lens that we’ve decided to make an important change to our free product.

Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, news content will remain available in our free version. Alignments to standards and Newsela-curated Text Sets will no longer be visible without a paid subscription.

The other 20+ standards-aligned content genres such as primary sources, reference texts, pro/con paired texts, historical documents and pre-curated Text Sets will require a subscription.

Instructional supports, reporting and insights on teacher and student performance, advanced sharing and controls, teacher training and development, and customization options will remain features of our paid products, as they are today.

More details on the content and features that will make up our free and paid products moving forward can be found here.

Accelerating our ability to solve major instructional challenges for every K-12 school in the country will require a big investment, and there are costs associated with every article we publish. We believe in paying our content contributors fairly. And we must continue developing our technology.

We’re making this change to ensure we can get even more of the highest quality digital content available into your hands, and build tools to help you get the most out of it.

We recognize this might create a disruption for teachers using content that will no longer be available in the free version. I know you’re fighting hard every day to make sure teachers and learners are getting the most out of the computers and broadband you’ve invested in. We are, too.

I hope you’ll work with us to ensure every dollar spent on classroom materials is worthwhile.

Your colleague,

Matthew Gross

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