Margaret Angell and her colleagues at the CityBridge Foundation are leading some really great work in support of personalized learning in D.C. Their dual focus on teachers and more recently on school design (with support from NGLC’s Breakthrough Models Regional Fund) is a really useful one-two combination that I believe will yield tremendous innovation at multiple levels in the coming years. They also deserve kudos for working across the district and charter sectors, and creating opportunities to bring educators from both together.
Between RETHINK and Aspire’s Blended Learning Toolkit that I posted earlier today, people interested in implementing personalized/blended learning in a K-12 setting should have enough reading material to keep them busy for a few days.
For a compilation of more resources like these, visit the Lots of Resources section of this blog.
The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) announced $12M in grant funding for 30 planning grants and 20 launch grants to support “Breakthrough Schools.” The focus is on secondary schools (grades 6-12) that are focused on personalized learning in order to achieve aggressive outcomes: 1.5 years of growth annually and 80% college readiness rates.
Two exciting initiatives that are at the cutting edge of education innovation – CEE-Trust and the Next Gen Learning Challenges – are both hiring. Perhaps I am biased because I know these organizations well and we fund them, but I think these are stellar career opportunities for smart, driven people who have a passion for education innovation and want to strike a balance between working at a national level on cutting-edge strategies and getting their hands dirty with on-the-ground implementations.
Job descriptions for these two positions are below. Please follow instructions embedded within these docs for next steps.
The Next Generation Learning Challenges, an initiative that we at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fund, recently announced the third and final round of winners for a challenge focused on launching innovative new schools. In total, the 20 winning schools, which were each designed to achieve “breakthrough results” toward college readiness for all students by leveraging blended instructional practices, represent a fascinating array of innovative instructional and operational approaches within both districts and charter networks.
The entire portfolio of winners will be included in a comprehensive, multi-year research and evaluation project, led by John Pane at the RAND Corporation, that will focus on a diverse, holistic array of indicators of effective schools. In keeping with the focus on personalized learning and proficiency-based pathways, the study will include not just measures of grade-level proficiency, but more importantly it will use multiple measures to calculate learning growth. Calculating learning growth is important because a fundamental premise behind personalized learning is to meet each student’s actual academic needs and accelerate her learning from that point as opposed to where her grade level indicates she “should be.” Furthermore, the study will also consider other skills that lead to college readiness such as non-cognitive skills. Finally, given the challenge’s focus on creating schools that are financially sustainable on public revenue, a separate study will take a close look at the financial models of these schools.
Below is a running list of national media coverage focused on this announcement: