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Category: Partners & Friends

Communities, Educators in Six Regions Join Effort to Develop “Breakthrough” Schools

Local organizations to apply $25M in grants to accelerate student progress through personalized learning

Six community-based education organizations across the U.S. have been selected to participate in a new $25 million effort launched by Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), intended to establish regional hubs of K-12 innovation. The Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools––a first?of?its?kind national initiative that supports “breakthrough” schools to accelerate student progress––will grant funding to local educators whose approaches incorporate leading principles of personalized, blended, and competency-based learning.

NGLC defines breakthrough schools as those charged with generating rigorous outcomes for all students: at least 1.5 years of growth annually in math and English/language arts—an ambitious but necessary goal for students who are behind in specific subject areas or grade levels—a 90 percent high school graduation rate, and at least 80 percent of students meeting college readiness benchmarks and enrolling in college.

All six partner organizations were selected through competitive, national application processes by NGLC and the initiative’s funders: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Funding models vary across the sites, but each regional partner will be investing between $1.8M and $3M in local design teams to generate new or Conversion schools, with a mix of national and in some regions, locally--?raised funding. Some partners are working closely with single, big city school districts; others are working with multiple districts and larger regions. Each partner is aiming to enable design teams of innovative educators to open at least three (and in some cases many more) new or redesigned breakthrough model schools by fall of 2016.

The six partner organizations include:

  • CityBridge Foundation, Washington, D.C.;
  • The Colorado Education Initiative, representing a coalition of three Colorado school districts and the Colorado Department of Education;
  • LEAP Innovations, Chicago, Ill.;
  • New Schools for New Orleans; in partnership with the Louisiana Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board, Educate Now!, and 4.0 Schools;
  • New England Secondary School Consortium, coordinated by the Great Schools Partnership;
  • Rogers Family Foundation, Oakland, Calif.

Leaders from each site will work with NGLC and its national network of 80 breakthrough model schools (funded with $23 million in grants awarded since 2012). A breakthrough school combines student-centered, personalized, blended, and competency-based learning approaches with high expectations for student achievement, all sustainable on public funding. In personalized learning settings, learning experiences are designed by teachers and students to address individual skills, gaps, interests and aspirations. Competency-based learning enables students to move at their own optimal pace and receive credit by demonstrating mastery of clearly defined expectations before moving on. Blended learning integrates teacher-led, in-person instruction with online learning and the use of technology-enabled tools in group- oriented and individual work. All of these strategies are at least partly managed by the student, and enabled by the seamless integration of technology.

“Our nation’s K-12 schools are the pathway to the future,” said Diana Oblinger, president and CEO of EDUCAUSE. “The Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools initiative demonstrates how we are optimizing the impact of information technology by creating meaningful solutions to some of our most pressing educational challenges. By encouraging and supporting innovation like this on a grassroots level––in terms of novel instructional methods, new technologies, and student success outcomes––we are strengthening education as a whole.”

The Regional Funds partner organizations were selected based on several criteria, including: clear leadership consensus supporting their vision of next generation learning; a high-capacity local organization to direct the work; a supportive policy environment to enable fundamental redesign of learning models and school structures and practices; and innovative, pioneering educators ready to lead this groundbreaking work.

NGLC is managed by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association working to advance higher education through the use of information technology, in conjunction with the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the League for Innovation in the Community College. Additional program support for the Regional Funds partner organizations will be provided by CEE-Trust.

Click here to learn more.

comments | Posted by The League for Innovation in the Community College on 07/30/2014 at 6:44 AM | Categories: Partners & Friends -

PATHS Program Addresses Leadership Crisis in Higher Education

Open Doors Group (ODG), the League for Innovation in the Community College, and SoftChalk LLC are pleased to announce that registration is now open for PATHS, an eight-week online program designed to accelerate career paths for higher education professionals. PATHS will address the pending leadership crisis by providing a unique, career-boosting opportunity for college and university employees who have started their management careers or aspire to leadership positions.

Designed and led by a cadre of successful leaders and other experts, PATHS will offer nine hours of self-paced online training from September 8 – October 21, 2014 plus a three-hour, Live Highlight Session webinar from 2pm-5pm EDT on Wednesday, September 24. The PATHS program will focus on what it takes to become a leader in today’s higher education environment. The curriculum will be presented in three modules: Becoming a Higher Education Leader, Mindful Leadership, and Evaluating the Landscape: Operating in a Changing Environment. In addition, an extensive mentor-matching program tailored to the career aspirations of each participant will be available for the first 50 people who register for PATHS by August 1st. "It is a privilege to work with ODG and SoftChalk on this vital, long-awaited program that will prove to be essential for aspirants in education to take on leadership roles," said Chris Hennessey, Marketing Director, League for Innovation in the Community College.

Affordable and convenient, PATHS is egalitarian in admissions, and elitist in content and results. Visit the http://www.league.org/paths/ website for more information.

Click here to read the full article online.

comments | Posted by The League for Innovation in the Community College on 07/01/2014 at 1:01 AM | Categories: Partners & Friends -

New Website Could Help Millions of U.S. Students Attain Their College Degree

Free NROC Project website offers a personalized learning experience for remedial math students.

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comments | Posted by The League for Innovation in the Community College on 05/29/2014 at 8:33 AM | Categories: Partners & Friends -