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Our grantmaking funds school- and classroom-based innovations to better support student learning and holistic youth development, with an emphasis on meeting each student’s unique needs, ensuring deep mastery of content and skills, and improving academic outcomes.
Schools today are charged with preparing students to thrive in an increasingly complex world. This extends beyond supporting academic success and includes equipping young people to actively engage in our democracy and workforce. In order to meet this challenge, schools of the future will need to be places where learning is deeply personalized, instruction is focused on mastery of core skills, competencies, and knowledge, and holistic youth development is woven into the student experience. Our investments support schools, school districts, charter management organizations, and other school support organizations in catalyzing and implementing these changes.
We invest to reimagine pathways to educational and economic opportunity for high school graduates. This includes initiatives to improve college access and completion, particularly for low-income and first-generation students, as well as efforts to better align K–12 learning, higher education, and careers.
Given the changing nature of the economy, it is more imperative than ever for students to attain some postsecondary education to thrive in the global economy. This requires American education to collaborate with the labor market in the design of better pathways to opportunity for all students beyond high school graduation. By providing a diversity of options and flexibility necessary to accommodate the range of student needs and ambitions after high school, we can improve outcomes for all students, especially those who have faced historic barriers to opportunity. To meet that need, our grantmaking supports initiatives to improve postsecondary access and completion, and to expand the range of postsecondary pathways available to students, and to ensure that K–12 and higher education collaborate with the labor market to prepare young people for the future of work.
We work to ensure that all students benefit from content-rich, standards-aligned instruction by funding efforts to strengthen teaching and school leadership, including the development of high-quality instructional materials and curriculum-based professional learning.
Educators today are tasked with holding all students to high academic standards in mathematics, English language arts/literacy, and science, requiring an increase in both the rigor of instruction and the level of student engagement in order to achieve those expectations. As a result, teachers adapt teaching to meet students’ diverse needs while helping them master the academic content, skills, and habits of mind required for success in school and life. To help educators meet these challenges, the Corporation invests in the development of high-quality instructional materials and curriculum-based professional learning for teachers and instructional leaders. It also supports a wide range of initiatives to advance the knowledge, skills, and practices that educators need to support student success, including clinically rich teacher preparation, coaching and mentoring, and ongoing professional development for teachers and school leaders.
Our grantmaking aims to build a shared understanding about the changes needed to ensure that all students excel in school and life, including efforts to foster collaboration among families, educators, community leaders, and students as true partners in achieving that vision.
Research shows that students thrive when families have a meaningful role in their education and schools are stronger when they have close ties to their communities. But not all children experience the benefits of strong community and family engagement at their schools. At the same time, the perspectives of families and educators are often neglected when school reforms are being developed and implemented, which can lead to frustrations that compromise the success of those initiatives. Our grantmaking aims to reverse those trends by bringing together families, communities, students, educators, policymakers, and the public in support of an equitable and educational system and high-quality learning experiences for all. These efforts include initiatives to elevate the concerns and priorities of families and educators, empowering them to shape educational policy and practice. We also fund programs to bridge the gap between home and school. This work ensures that all families have access to the information and best practices they need to navigate and support their children’s education and that they are able to act as effective advocates for change. Because we believe an informed public is vital to ensuring educational equity, we also support media organizations to encourage national and local conversations about issues that matter most to families and educators.
Our grantmaking is designed to ensure that everyone invested in improving our nation’s schools works together more effectively to design and implement improvement strategies within complex systems. This includes efforts to reduce fragmentation, foster collaboration, and build cultures of continuous learning, as well as sharing lessons learned with the field.
School systems in the United States are exceedingly complex, encompassing great diversity and competing demands. New initiatives are often introduced without engaging the people who will be most affected by them or considering how changes in one area might have ripple effects in others. As a result, the field of education has often struggled to put promising ideas into practice, slowing the pace of progress for students. Two central challenges have been the tendency to design and implement improvement strategies in isolation, and the limited or ineffective sharing of knowledge across the field. The Corporation seeks to change these patterns by catalyzing integrated approaches that are better suited to improving complex social systems. Our grantmaking also supports initiatives to help people in schools, districts, and states learn from one other and from their own work, paying particular attention to creating a collective vision, designing and managing change effectively and inclusively, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.