2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What is a Proficiency-Based Diploma?

Leadership in Action: What is a Proficiency-Based Diploma?

May 09, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

In today’s world, a high school diploma has to mean something. This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series explains how proficiency-based diplomas will ensure that all learners are prepared for success in college and beyond.

 

To make sure that every high school diploma certifies strong preparation for college, work, and life, the old system needs to change. In today’s world, a high school diploma has to mean something.

2005-2001

Getting Through College: Voices of Low-Income and Minority Students in New England

Getting Through College: Voices of Low-Income and Minority Students in New England

February 19, 2001

 

COLLEEN O’BRIEN AND JESSICA SHEDD

Low-income and minority students face more obstacles than their peers in four-year, postsecondary education. With a quickly growing minority population and its status as a hub of higher education, New England must address the unique needs of these students to ensure quality education is available to all.

Financial aid, pre-college preparation, attendance, and feel connected to campus are all critical to helping low-income and minority students succeed. Government, philanthropy, and institutions should offer support during the admissions and transfer processes, emphasize grant aid over loans, and create a community where low-income and minority students can thrive.

 

Low-income and minority students face many obstacles to success in postsecondary education, including financial, academic, and social barriers.

2005-2001

Diversity Among Equals

Diversity Among Equals

October 17, 2001

 

STEPHEN COELEN, PATRICIA CROSSON AND JOSEPH BERGER

Affirmative action in college admissions has been debated as a useful policy for creating qualified, diverse student bodies. The minority student population in New England colleges and universities is growing but remains lower than its white counterpart.

This report examines affirmative action admissions policies and their effects on diversity in higher education, as well as public perceptions of those policies. The most compelling conclusion from the report is that there is no significant evidence that colleges have lowered standards to admit a greater number of minority students.

 

By increasing educational access to a broader segment of the population, the region’s higher education institutions have taken crucial steps toward assuring the vitality and vibrancy of New England’s future economy and civic life.

2005-2001

Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success

Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success

June 04, 2003

 

BETH MILLER

Experiences during adolescence shape students’ futures as learners and individuals. Afterschool time presents opportunities for social-emotional and interest-driven learning through hands-on experiences—something that is sometimes missing from school curricula.

This report draws on research from a range of fields to establish the context for afterschool programs and their role in academic success. By examining afterschool programs, the report provides an overview of positive outcomes that set students up for engaged, lifelong learning.

 

Communities, school systems and government [must work] together to overcome barriers to effective programs in order to provide young people with experiences that contribute to their development, safety and academic achievement.

2005-2001

State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequity

State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequity

October 01, 2004

 

DON HELLER AND PATRICIA MARIN

With college tuition rising faster than family incomes, state policy is barring low-income and minority students from receiving adequate aid for college tuition. This collection of research finds that many state merit aid policies favor granting funds to students who are already likely to go to college without aid, while not covering access for low-income and minority students.

The research is a follow-up to the 2002 report, Who Should We Help? The Negative Consequences of Merit Scholarships. This report further examines the possible consequences of merit-based aid, addressing specific programs and policies and describing the negative impact these programs may have on college access for low-income and minority students.

 

…Unmet need is a barrier both to students’ initial enrollment in college and to their ability to persist through and earn a degree.

2010-2006

Transfer Access to Elite Colleges and Universities in the United States

Transfer Access to Elite Colleges and Universities in the United States

April 18, 2006

 

ALICIA C. DOWD AND GLENN GABBARD

As the population of academically talented low-income students at community colleges increases, their rate of transfer to selective colleges and universities is decreasing. From cultural barriers to economic-driven institutional policy, low-income students are increasingly disadvantaged in the pursuit of spots at selective schools.

This study of access to elite, four-year institutions for transfer students addresses the widening education gap between low- and high-income students. To provide opportunities to accomplish students and diversify higher education, the researchers recommend authority figures, administrators, faculty members, and peers support low-income students with information, advising, and encouragement.

 

Together, highly selective institutions and community colleges have the potential to dramatically increase the number of low-SES (socioeconomic status) transfer students by encouraging talented community college students to apply, raising awareness of financial aid, and working to diminish cultural barriers.

2010-2006

New England After 3 PM

New England After 3 PM

May 30, 2006

 

THE AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE

The hours after school offer opportunities for academic and personal growth outside of the classroom, but many students spend the time unsupervised. The lack of access to quality afterschool programs and inadequate federal funding means just 14 percent of New England students participate in afterschool programs.

This 2006 report by the Afterschool Alliance is the first in a series that examines the need for afterschool programs and the work being done in the New England states to increase public support and availability. The report concludes with practical recommendations for citizens, officials, and community leaders to develop a regional push for afterschool programs for all.

 

New England is fortunate to have many strong afterschool programs that keep children safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. But there are not nearly enough afterschool programs in New England to meet the need.

2010-2006

New England 2020: A Forecast of Educational Attainment and Its Implications for the Workforce of New England States

New England 2020: A Forecast of Educational Attainment and Its Implications for the Workforce of New England States

June 29, 2006

 

STEPHEN P. COELEN AND JOSEPH B. BERGER

By 2020, New England is predicted to have a significant drop in the percentage of young people holding bachelor’s degrees or higher. The changing population, with varying levels of education, demands accommodation.

This 2006 report details the relationships between population demographics, educational attainment, and workforce quality. It concludes that making higher education more accessible and affordable will attract young people to secure a prosperous future for New England.

 

Anything we do to achieve high college participation, retention, and completion rates will have a positive, lasting effect on New England.

2010-2006

New England 2020 FAQ

New England 2020 FAQ

June 29, 2006

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Foundation’s “New England 2020” report.

2010-2006

Adults Must Be College Ready Too

Adults Must Be College Ready Too

December 12, 2006

 

BLENDA J. WILSON

A competitive workforce where the basic requirement is a college degree calls for adults, as well as teenagers, to be college ready. Adult learners face numerous barriers to college completion, including family and job responsibilities, and lack of confidence in their own abilities.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) partnered with the New England Literacy publication Center to create the New England Adult Basic Education (ABE)-to-College Transition Project, which funded 25 ABE-to-college programs in New England. In this 2006 article, former NMEF President Blenda J. Wilson reflects on the difficulties of pursuing postsecondary education and the successes of these bridge programs and their learners.

 

Today, adults with only a high school education are seriously handicapped in the job market and are hard-pressed to take care of a family, have choices and keep a safe distance from the poverty line. New England’s economy will be handicapped unless we help those adults find their way into college.

2010-2006

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement

June 20, 2007

 

BETH M. MILLER

For many, summertime occupies a nostalgic place in our imaginations, conjuring up memories of relaxation, fresh air, and freedom. Summer is also a time when many children are given the opportunity to expand their horizons and build new skills. But for a significant number of children who do not have access to these experiences, the summer can be three months too many without meaningful learning opportunities.

This report examines the benefits of summer learning opportunities, drawing on research that attributes the achievement gap to a lack of access to quality summer programs. Recommendations for policymakers and researchers include tapping philanthropic organizations, spreading awareness, and collecting additional data on underserved populations.

 

For the significant numbers of children who do not have access to these experiences, the summer can be three months too many without meaningful learning opportunities.

2010-2006

What It Takes to Succeed in the 21st Century—and How New Englanders Are Faring

What It Takes to Succeed in the 21st Century—and How New Englanders Are Faring

October 16, 2008

 

JOBS FOR THE FUTURE

A historic leader in education, New England faces new challenges as its population diversifies amid an increasingly demanding economy.

This report assesses the implications of the region’s changing demographics and the skills needed to be a 21st century citizen. The authors recommend New England continue to develop its policies, practices, and partnerships to support underserved youth.

 

Education attainment and achievement indicators show that important segments of the population are not prepared for success in a knowledge-based economy.

2010-2006

Many Sizes Fit All

Many Sizes Fit All

April 27, 2009

 

The report reviewed six options that are likely to be considered in any comprehensive multiple pathways initiative. These options serve as potential building blocks that can be combined to create additional learning options for students.

 

The need to dramatically increase the number of young people who gain the credentials and skills necessary to succeed in 21st century America has never been clearer. One of the most promising ideas for achieving this goal is to establish “multiple pathways” for learners that lead to a variety of high-quality postsecondary options.

2010-2006

Building Multiple Pathways: Approaches, Relevant Programs and Implementation Considerations

Building Multiple Pathways: Approaches, Relevant Programs and Implementation Considerations

April 27, 2009

 

EPHRAIM WEISSTEIN AND DR. DAVID JACOBSON

High school graduation rates for students from traditionally underserved populations tend to be low—figures show that students from families with income in the bottom 20% dropped out of high school at six times the rate of those from higher income brackets.

It is obvious that the traditional high school system, as currently structured, is not meeting the needs of many students. This report offers alternatives, or “multiple pathways” for learners to be prepared for post-secondary options.

 

The need to dramatically increase the number of young people who gain the credentials and skills necessary to succeed in 21st century America has never been clearer.

2010-2006

Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community-Based Partners

Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community-Based Partners

July 16, 2009

 

ALBERT WAT AND CHRISANNE GAYL

In 2009, pre-K was the fastest growing sector in public education, but less than 30 percent of three- and four-year olds were served in publicly funded programs.

To provide all students with quality pre-K programs, communities can pool publications in collaborations between private and public partners. This 2009 report presents the benefits of and barriers to community-based partnerships and offers recommendations for communities and policymakers for forming and supporting partnerships.

 

While implementing a pre-k program in partnership with community-based organizations may require more time and effort, this strategy ultimately benefits all stakeholders: public schools, private providers, families and children.

2010-2006 National Summer Learning Associartion Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Meaningful Linkages between Summer Programs, Schools, and Community Partners

Meaningful Linkages between Summer Programs, Schools, and Community Partners

November 16, 2009

 

B. MCLAUGHLIN AND T.L. PHILLIPS

Partnerships are effective ways for schools and community-based organizations to provide more meaningful summer learning experiences—making a real difference in the lives of children, families, and communities. But what do successful partnerships look like?

This report draws on findings from in-depth interviews conducted by the National Center for Summer Learning with 11 summer programs that have successfully developed collaborations between summer programs, schools and community organizations.

 

Summer programs are well-positioned to act as laboratories for larger school reform efforts because some of the more nontraditional school partners may occupy the summer education space in ways that are not typical during the school year (for example, youth learning in a summer residential camp setting).

2010-2006

Including Performance Assessments in Accountability Systems

Including Performance Assessments in Accountability Systems

January 13, 2010

 

ROSANN TUNG

The purpose of this review is to understand previous efforts at scaling up the use of performance assessments across districts and states. Through systematic description and comparison of seven large-scale initiatives, as well as analogous efforts from teacher certification, medicine, and law, the paper identifies the strengths and vulnerabilities in each initiative.

 

Performance assessments benefit students and teachers by providing more opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge and complex skills, by providing teachers with better information about student progress, and by encouraging schools to build professional collaborative cultures through integrating curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

2010-2006

Ready for the Future: The Role of Performance Assessments in Shaping Graduates’ Academic, Professional, and Personal Lives

Ready for the Future: The Role of Performance Assessments in Shaping Graduates’ Academic, Professional, and Personal Lives

June 20, 2010

 

LAURIE GAGNON

The perspectives of high school graduates offer a valuable source of understanding for educators and policymakers on how to ensure high-quality performance assessments can prepare all students for work and college.

Through a series of in-depth interviews with graduates from three Boston Public Schools with established performance-based assessment systems, the study analyzes graduates’ preparation for future academic, professional, and personal endeavors. Graduates describe the process of learning from performance assessment, the ways their learning prepared them for future schooling or work, and the areas in which they faced challenges.

 

[Performance assessments are] more like the real world [than tests]. It’s more like what is actually going to happen. If I have a problem, I will find out how to do it.

2010-2006

Disconnected Young Adults in New England

Disconnected Young Adults in New England

June 22, 2010

 

EPHRAIM WEISSTEIN AND FLORA TRAUB

In New England alone, 10%, or 142,000 young adults ages 18-24 are “disconnected” or leaving the public education system without the skills necessary to succeed in emerging careers. The region does not appear to have the necessary systems and supports in place to address the magnitude of the problem, and cannot afford to ignore it.

This study provides an overview of the scope, scale, and consequences of the current disconnected young adult challenge. The authors offer policy recommendations to make the education system more flexible for this high-risk population.

 

Too many young people and working adults leave school academically underprepared for the new economy, particularly individuals from low-income and other traditionally underserved groups who have had weak education experiences.

2010-2006

Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs

Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs

July 14, 2010

 

MICHELLE WILCZYNSKI

Middle-skill jobs will account for nearly 40% of job openings in the state through 2016.

Massachusetts has made significant investments in education and training for its workforce, especially in K-12 education, basic skills, and incumbent worker training. However, the state has under-invested in public higher education and vocational/technical training—two critical components of the state’s training infrastructure that must be better aligned to meet industry demand for middle-skill workers.

 

If Massachusetts is to realize its full economic potential, educational access must reflect the demands of a 21st-century economy and the realities of the 21st-century workforce.

2010-2006

A New Era of Education Reform: Preparing All Students for Success in College, Career and Life

A New Era of Education Reform: Preparing All Students for Success in College, Career and Life

October 07, 2010

 

JILL NORTON, LISA FAMULARO, MICHAEL BENNETT, AND IVY WASHINGTON

In an increasingly complex and global economy, the knowledge and skills required for students to be successful in college and beyond have deepened. Many schools argue that providing students with a broader set of skills that will enable them to thrive in the 21st century—such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and creativity—is vital. Even so, others maintain that students must continue to focus solely on mastering basic reading, writing and mathematics skills.

In 2010, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy conducted a statewide survey of superintendents, charter school leaders and principals to gauge the extent to which they support the integration of 21st century skills into public education.

 

While the public debate about the merits of ’21st century skills’ continues, some schools and districts across the Commonwealth have already decided the direction they will take.

2010-2006

When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning

When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning

November 22, 2010

 

CHRIS STURGIS AND SUSAN PATRICK

Competency-based policy is often described simply as flexibility in awarding credit, or an alternative to the Carnegie unit. However, this does not capture the depth of transformation of a system shifting from a time-based system to a learning-based system.

This report explores the driving forces behind competency-based innovations and implementation issues, and highlights a number of challenges facing states and districts as they explore competency-based approaches.

 

In a proficiency system, failure or poor performance may be part of the student’s learning curve, but it is not an outcome.

2015-2011

The Strengths and Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

The Strengths and Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

January 25, 2011

 

MICHELLE RENEE AND SARA MCALISTER

In this report, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) examines a growing body of literature on community organizing to understand how this strategy fits into systemic education reform. AISR’s research shows that community organizing for school reform has the potential to create equitable changes, develop innovative education solutions that gather insights from under-served communities, and build the long-term social capital of under-served communities both to support schools and districts and to hold them accountable for improving achievement.

 

Education organizing – unique in its blend of outside-in and inside-out strategies – is as much about building coalitions with school districts and policy-makers as it is about protesting against them.

2015-2011

Securing the Dream

Securing the Dream

January 31, 2011

 

MARIA IDALI TORRES, ET. AL.

Although Latinos comprise only 8.4% of Massachusetts’ population, their age structure (tilted toward the younger age groupings) and the constant influx of new immigrants from Latin America is transforming the state’s landscape of schools and workplaces.

The authors of this compilation of reports present the implications of the disparities (in education, economics, and health) for Latinos, and share their suggestions for improving the economic, social, and educational well-being of this growing population.

 

The future of the Commonwealth’s working-age population and tax base may well depend on Latino’s upward mobility.

2015-2011

Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century

Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century

February 14, 2011

 

ROBERT B. SCHWARTZ, RONALD F. FERGUSON, AND WILLIAM C. SYMONDS

The pathway from high school to four-year college is not for everyone. According to this report, roughly half of all young Americans are unprepared for success in today’s workforce.

Pathways to Prosperity calls for an intensive effort from employers, educators, government and nonprofit leaders to build pathways that link work and learning and are aligned with labor market demand.

 

This important and timely report offers a compelling assessment of a growing skills gap threatening young people’s ability to achieve the American Dream. It stands as a sobering call to action, offering effective ideas for making American education an engine for opportunity once again.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What Do Today’s Students Need to Know?

Leadership in Action: What Do Today’s Students Need to Know?

March 16, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines how we can make sure our students are prepared for success in a new, global economy.

 

Today’s students need skills that their parents never needed to learn, they will encounter problems that we never faced, and they will be competing for jobs that do not yet exist.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: How Do Today’s Students Learn?

Leadership in Action: How Do Today’s Students Learn?

March 29, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines what we know about how students learn—and how we can use these insights to strengthen our high schools for student success.

 

When students believe that intelligence is genetic and unchangeable they often learn at slower rates and avoid challenges. But students who embrace new problems and overcome failures learn more and learn it faster.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What Can the World’s Best Schools Teach Us?

Leadership in Action: What Can the World’s Best Schools Teach Us?

April 11, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series looks abroad for ideas and lessons that will ensure that our students are culturally competent and prepared to succeed in a global economy.

 

When our students graduate, they will enter a world that is no longer defined by national borders, and they will be competing for jobs alongside ambitious, highly skilled workers from Europe, Asia, and countries across the globe.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What Should a 21st Century High School Look Like?

Leadership in Action: What Should a 21st Century High School Look Like?

April 25, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines what it means to develop a 21st-century high school that will ensure our students are among the best educated in the world.

 

Combining classroom teaching with outside-of-school learning experiences—from community internships to online courses to ‘early college’ programs that give students a taste of higher education—will better prepare the next generation for the real-world challenges of adult life.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What are Personalized Learning Pathways?

Leadership in Action: What are Personalized Learning Pathways?

May 17, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

Personalized learning pathways encourage students to pursue their passions while encouraging them to take more responsibility for their education. This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines what personalized learning really means.

 

If all students are held to the same learning expectations, but are allowed to achieve those high standards in more creative and personally meaningful ways, every student can design a personalized pathway to graduation that prepares them for life.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What are Real-World Learning Experiences?

Leadership in Action: What are Real-World Learning Experiences?

June 07, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series explains that in today’s world, relevance, usefulness, and real-world application need to inform every dimension of the high school experience.

 

When students are engaged in real-world learning, they tackle the kinds of tricky, complex problems that do not always have clear answers—just like life.

2015-2011

Roadmap for Next-Generation State Accountability Systems

Roadmap for Next-Generation State Accountability Systems

June 20, 2011

 

COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS

This report presents the vision of chief state school officers and state education agencies to dramatically improve student achievement through the development and implementation of next-generation state accountability systems.

This Roadmap serves as a foundational tool for states to take bold action in developing next-generation accountability systems that are based on the goal of college and career readiness for all students.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: Education, Prosperity, and Economic Competitiveness

Leadership in Action: Education, Prosperity, and Economic Competitiveness

June 28, 2011

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

In today’s knowledge economy, where students are competing for jobs alongside highly educated and motivated graduates from every corner of the globe, education has never been more necessary or vital to our country’s economic competitiveness. This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines why education is so important to the future of our economy and democracy.

 

The majority of new jobs being created in the United States require more education, more specialized training, and more sophisticated skills than ever before. In the 21st century, a strong economy requires a strong education system.

2015-2011

It’s Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit

It’s Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit

July 01, 2011

 

CHRIS STURGIS, SUSAN PATRICK, AND LINDA PITTENGER

Education leaders and innovators met at the March 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit to share knowledge and research related to competency-based learning. This paper summarizes the topics discussed, including learning time, the work of successful schools and districts, and tough issues such as accountability, equity, and assessment.

 

Students have been locked down by the concept of seat-time and locked out of the technological revolution that has transformed nearly every sector of American society, except for education.

2015-2011

Integrating Technology with Student-Centered Learning

Integrating Technology with Student-Centered Learning

July 14, 2011

 

BABETTE MOELLER AND TIM REITZES

While technology can serve as a powerful education tool, it cannot drive reform on its own. To be widely adopted, technology must be part of a comprehensive and systemic effort to change education. This report provides a look at the potential that technology offers and the steps needed to better understand when technology is most effective in student-centered learning—and for whom.

 

Technology can equip students to independently organize their learning process. So, instead of being passive recipients of information, students using technology become active users.

2015-2011

Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning

Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning

July 25, 2011

 

SUSAN PATRICK AND CHRIS STURGIS

Time and publications shouldn’t prohibit states from implementing student-centered, performance-based learning policies. This 2011 report offers recommendations for education leaders and state policymakers operating within such restrictions to work toward competency-based models of learning.

 

Just as there are multiple pathways for students to learn, there are multiple pathways for states to create room for innovation.

2015-2011

Talking about Skills and Learning: A FrameWorks MessageMemo for the Core Story of Education Project

Talking about Skills and Learning: A FrameWorks MessageMemo for the Core Story of Education Project

February 01, 2012

 

SUSAN NALL BALES, NATHANIEL KENDALL-TAYLOR, ERIC LINDLAND, MOIRA O’NEIL, ADAM SIMON

The first in a series of interpretive reports to emerge from the FrameWorks Institute’s Core Story of Education Project, this report outlines obstacles that prevent education reformers from engaging in meaningful public discussions about improving students’ skills development.

 

The public has little exposure to, much less practice with, connecting micro-processes of education – such as skills acquisition – with macro or structural educational issues.

2015-2011

It Takes a Whole Society: Opening Up the Learning Landscape in the High School Years

It Takes a Whole Society: Opening Up the Learning Landscape in the High School Years

February 01, 2012

 

ROBERT HALPERN

Nearly one-third of the four million youth who enter high school each year will drop out. The over-reliance on one institution—high school—to meet the full range of students’ development needs is choking the learning experience for a sizeable percentage of young people.

This report calls for creating a richer fabric of learning opportunities for youth. A much broader segment of society needs to collaborate to find the means to engage young people in meaningful learning.

 

Partnerships create a sum greater than its parts, in effect creating a richer, more varied learning landscape for young people.

2015-2011

Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning

Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning

February 05, 2012

 

CHRISTINA BROWN AND PASCALE MEVS

Standardized testing is just one form of assessment available to districts and schools. To generate a robust portrait of students’ achievement, policymakers and educators should consider quality performance assessments that measure mastery rather than memorization.

This 2012 report offers a definition for performance assessment and details examples of schools using these systems. The authors provide a framework and essential elements for implementing a performance assessment system, including aligned instruction and professional communities of practice.

 

Regardless of the standards or the assessments that measure them, all students should have the opportunity to engage in meaningful work that prepares them for the 21st century workplace.

2015-2011

Changing School District Practices

Changing School District Practices

March 01, 2012

 

BEN LEVIN, AMANDA DATNOW, AND NATHALIE CARRIER

School districts function as governing bodies, but also as supporters of change and advocates of equity. Implementing student-centered changes to pedagogy, culture, and more can help districts accomplish these objectives. This report, part of the Students at the Center series, details the state of student-centered learning in the United States, how and why districts are important in improving student success, and what they can do to foster student-centered practices.

 

The district is a key institutional actor in educational reform, providing instructional leadership, reorienting the organization, establishing policy coherence, and maintaining an equity focus.

2015-2011

Teachers at Work: Six Exemplars of Everyday Practice

Teachers at Work: Six Exemplars of Everyday Practice

March 01, 2012

 

BARBARA CERVONE AND KATHLEEN CUSHMAN

This report takes the reader inside six high schools widely regarded as exemplars of deep student learning. The authors unpack teaching practices and school structures at the heart of student-centered learning. Findings reveal commonalities among the schools, especially in allowing teachers to hone their craft through “daily acts of invention.

2015-2011

Curricular Opportunities in the Digital Age

Curricular Opportunities in the Digital Age

March 19, 2012

 

DAVID H. ROSE AND JENNA W. GRAVEL

Neuroscience research has established the human brain as highly individualized. To achieve student-centered learning, classroom design and instruction should reflect students’ need for individualization.

This 2012 report proposes universal design for learning (UDL) and digital media for creating student-centered classrooms that addresses a variety of students’ abilities and interests.

 

While providing access to information is often essential to learning, it is not sufficient. Success also requires that the means for learning—the pedagogical goals, methods, materials, and assessments of instruction—are also accessible.

2015-2011

Assessing Learning

Assessing Learning

April 19, 2012

 

HEIDI ANDRADE, KRISTEN HUFF, AND GEORGIA BROOKE

Student-centered assessment is a vital part of student-centered learning approaches. This paper examines the defining qualities of student-centered assessment and underscores the importance of student-centered assessment as part of a balanced system of formative, interim, and summative assessments.

 

Testing at its best actively engages students in the regulation of their own learning when they themselves determine the gaps in their knowledge and make plans for filling in those gaps.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What are Professional Learning Communities?

Leadership in Action: What are Professional Learning Communities?

April 23, 2012

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines why professional learning communities may be the most effective, affordable, and sustainable school improvement strategy around.

 

If we really want to improve student performance, increasing the amount of time teachers are given to learn and plan together would be a great place to start.

2015-2011

Personalization in Schools

Personalization in Schools

July 19, 2012

 

SUSAN YONEZAWA, LARRY MCCLURE, AND MAKEBA JONES

Thoughtful educators personalize school every day—greeting students by name, offering academic help, checking in about serious family problems. But how can teacher-student relationships play a more formal role in personalizing education for students?

This 2012 report reviews research on personalization, emphasizing the importance of student-teacher relationships. The authors provide examples of personalization in schools, such as advisories and small schools, and suggest next steps for personalization, which include mastery-based instruction, digital technology, and college and career readiness.

 

Educators who use teacher-student relationships to create classroom environments that foster feelings of competency—particularly among students who have been marginalized for any number of reasons—can invigorate students who were previously disengaged.

2015-2011

Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents

Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents

July 19, 2012

 

ALFRED W. TATUM

Just 38% of 12th graders performed at or above a proficient level in reading in 2009. Despite efforts to close the achievement gap, African-American boys fare even worse in literacy.

This 2012 Students at the Center paper makes the case for deeper efforts in schools to help African-American boys achieve literacy, highlighting outcomes of proficient reading including personal development, economic vitality, and global participation.

 

Because reading comprehension forms the foundation for learning just about anything after fourth grade and for functioning in society, educators need to pay more attention to how literacy instruction can safeguard academic and personal well-being.

2015-2011 Students at the Center Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice

Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice

July 20, 2012

 

ERIC TOSHALIS AND MICHAEL J. NAKKULA

Teachers are constantly attempting to persuade students to participate in meaningful class activities and motivate students to achieve. When teachers are successful, classrooms come alive with exploration, discovering and learning. When they fall short, young people tune out, disengage, and, ultimately, fail.

The authors of this report synthesize research on achievement motivation, school engagement, and student voice to conclude that the more educators use student-centered approaches to reinforce student agency, the more motivation and engagement are likely to rise.

 

The movement to raise standards may fail if teachers are not supported to understand the connections among motivation, engagement, and student voice.

2015-2011 Students at the Center Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Mind, Brain, and Education

Mind, Brain, and Education

July 20, 2012

 

CHRISTINA HINTON, KURT W. FISCHER, AND CATHERINE GLENNON

Technological breakthroughs make research in human biology and cognitive science more relevant for education than ever before. The authors of this report suggest that student-centered approaches support learning in the brain—and such approaches have the potential to support academic achievement and close achievement gaps, particularly for underserved youth.

 

Students’ genetic predispositions interact with learning experiences to give rise to a wide range of individual differences.

2015-2011

Latino/a and Black Students and Mathematics

Latino/a and Black Students and Mathematics

July 20, 2012

 

ROCHELLE GUTIERREZ AND SONYA E. IRVING

Many students feel disconnected from mathematics, often taught without context or relation to everyday life. Black and Latino/a students–typically underserved groups, may struggle with math more than their peers.

This 2012 report advocates for connecting math to students’ lives to engage and help them become lifelong learners and world citizens. The authors review research on ethnomathematics, adult and out-of-school contexts for learning math, and social justice mathematics to broaden understanding of where, when, and for whom math happens and the implications for teaching and learning.

 

Developing students’ confidence, enlarging their repertoire of mathematical strategies, and building a mathematical identity that builds upon one’s culture or community may be as important as increasing scores on standardized tests.

2015-2011

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies

July 22, 2012

 

CHRIS STURGIS

This brief, published in 2012, details what makes a “good” competency and how education leaders and reformers can begin thinking about, designing, and implementing competency-based education.

Competency-based education, based on learning objectives that empower students, requires thoughtful design and implementation. Powerful competencies must include both learning objectives and clear performance criteria that allow students to identify their performance levels and what they need to improve upon.

 

By maintaining a laser focus on learning, allowing time to be a variable and powerful competencies to set the bar, we can create an education system that produces high achievement for students from all income levels, across all racial and ethnic communities.

2015-2011

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

October 01, 2012

 

JAMES PELLEGRINO

To achieve their full potential in college and beyond, high school students need to develop a range of skills and knowledge that facilitate mastery and application of English, mathematics, and other school subjects. At the same time, students need to be equipped with skills like problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking to succeed in today’s economy.

This report describes the important set of key skills that today’s students need to increase deeper learning, college and career readiness, student-centered learning, and higher-order thinking.

 

Because 21st century competencies support deeper learning of school subjects, their widespread acquisition could potentially reduce disparities in educational attainment, preparing a broader swathe of young people for successful adult outcomes in work and other areas of life.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What are Learning Standards?

Leadership in Action: What are Learning Standards?

October 24, 2012

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series explains what “learning standards” are and how to implement them in the classroom.

 

Standards do not stifle teacher creativity—in fact, they can give rise to even greater innovation through the power of collaboration, sharing, and collective thinking.

2015-2011

Cognitive Media Analysis on Assessment

Cognitive Media Analysis on Assessment

November 01, 2012

 

MOIRA O’NEIL, NATHANIEL KENDALL-TAYLOR, AND TIA REMINGTON-BELL

This report from the Frameworks Institute’s Core Story on Education Project analyzes and identifies media frames regarding assessment. The report finds that media coverage typically equates assessment with standardized testing, associates assessment with teacher accountability, and associates education reform with the need for improved student test scores.

 

The idea that teachers are professionals who use evidence derived from multiple assessment tools to improve the quality of their teaching is a vital message to communicate in order to structure a more complete narrative around assessment.

2015-2011

Cognitive Media Analysis of Skills and Learning

Cognitive Media Analysis of Skills and Learning

November 01, 2012

 

MOIRA O’NEIL

This report from the FrameWorks Institute’s Core Story on Education Project analyzes and identifies media frames regarding skills and learning. The report finds that skills and knowledge are narrowly framed in mainstream news outlets. Media coverage typically presents skills acquisition in individual economic or financial terms, focuses primarily on cognitive skills, and neglects the importance of quality learning environments and interaction among social, emotional, and cognitive processes.

 

Americans view learning as a profoundly individual endeavor. The media represents a strategic lever for widening public discourse about learning.

2015-2011

Overarching Media Coverage of Education Issues: A Cognitive Media Analysis

Overarching Media Coverage of Education Issues: A Cognitive Media Analysis

November 01, 2012

 

MOIRA O’NEIL

This report from the FrameWorks Institute’s Core Story of Education Project is part of a series that analyzes media discourse regarding learning, education, and education reform and how these discourses impact public understanding of an issue. The report examines how topics related to learning and education are regularly treated in the media, and explores the impact of these patterns on public thinking about education issues.

 

The media has the potential to expand the public’s assumptions about the actors who comprise the education system beyond students, parents and teachers.

2015-2011

Getting Down to Dollars and Cents

Getting Down to Dollars and Cents

November 15, 2012

 

LARRY MILLER, BETHENY GROSS AND MONICA OUIJDANI

This report provides a critical foundation for the delivery of student-centered learning by exploring three questions:

1) How is student-centered learning delivered?
2) What publications are needed to implement student-centered learning?
3) How does district spending on student-centered learning compare with spending on traditional schools?

 

Findings show that the implementation of student-centered approaches can be tailored and affordable for districts, schools and taxpayers alike.

 

Although the findings from this study cannot be generalized to all student-centered learning schools, the analysis reveals some consistent patterns in spending and offers valuable insights into potential factors that drive spending in these schools.

2015-2011

How Media Portray Learning Space and Time

How Media Portray Learning Space and Time

December 01, 2012

 

MOIRA O’NEIL, NATHANIEL KENDALL-TAYLOR, AND ABIGAIL HAYDON

This report from the Frameworks Institute’s Core Story on Education Project analyzes and identifies media frames regarding learning space and time. Key features of the media’s coverage of learning space and time include:

  1. Innovation in learning space and time is a private sector enterprise
  2. Global competition is the reason to reform learning space and time
  3. Digital media is a major character in the media narrative about learning space and time
  4. Media rarely describe how and why space and time influence learning.

 

Education experts… call for updating critical components so that schools provide the kinds of skills, knowledge and learning that students need to participate as engaged citizens in the 21st century information economy.

2015-2011

The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment

The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment

December 01, 2012

 

LAURA SHUBILLA AND CHRIS STURGIS

As states begin incorporating competency-based education into their policies, leaders must also ensure students receive the individualized support necessary for success in these systems.

This brief outlines design principles for supports and interventions in competency-based learning environments.

 

Fostering a growth mindset means encouraging persistence and effort as the key components of achievement. Students and adults with growth mindsets tend to see challenging situations as opportunities to learn things that they don’t currently know, rather than potential avenues for failure.

2015-2011

More Efficient High Schools in Maine: Emerging Student-Centered Learning Communities

The Connected Classroom: Understanding the Landscape of Technology for Student-Centered Learning

December 01, 2012

 

DAVID L. SILVERNAIL AND ERIKA K. STUMP

More Efficient High Schools in Maine: Emerging Student-Centered Learning Communities explores whether schools can be high performing, efficient, and student-centered at the same time.

Seven of Maine’s high schools were selected for the study, of which five were classified as “more efficient” by exhibiting higher student academic performance and a higher return on spending. Findings show that more efficient high schools demonstrate key characteristics of student-centered learning, and the report offers detailed examples of proven student-centered approaches.

 

Student-centered education systems provide all students equal access to the skills and knowledge needed for college and career readiness in the 21st century.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: How Does Proficiency-Based Learning Work?

Leadership in Action: How Does Proficiency-Based Learning Work?

December 17, 2012

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines how a proficiency-based learning model ensures that all learners graduate high school prepared for success in college and beyond.

 

High schools give out thousands of grades, report cards, and diplomas every year, but many of them would not be able to tell you what their students have specifically learned or not learned.

2015-2011

Re-Engineering Information Technology Design Considerations for Competency Education

Re-Engineering Information Technology Design Considerations for Competency Education

February 01, 2013

 

LIZ GLOWA AND SUSAN PATRICK

This brief addresses information technology as it relates to competency education, detailing the classroom, district, and state-level requirements of a student-centered system. The authors of the report analyze the knowledge of what makes up an effective competency-based information system.

 

The focus on reporting progress by mastery of academic standards has allowed the conversation with parents to move from ‘What’s my child’s grade?’ to ‘What does my child know and still need to learn?

2015-2011

Necessary for Success: Building Mastery of World-Class Skills – A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education

Necessary for Success: Building Mastery of World-Class Skills – A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education

February 01, 2013

 

SUSAN PATRICK AND CHRIS STURGIS

As students continue to drop off the “conveyor belt” of today’s factory-like school system, state policymakers are exploring student-centered alternatives to seat-time progression.

This issue brief describes competency-based systems and reforms in districts and schools from Maine to Florida, and makes suggestions for education leaders around changing policy, fostering progressive public discourse, and supporting teachers.

 

At the root of this work is a clear focus on ensuring that students have the opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life after graduation—whether that skill acquisition happens in the classroom or in the community.

2015-2011 Expanded Learning and After School Project Nellie Mae Foundation NME

The Promise of Extended Learning Opportunities: New, Powerful, and Personalized Options for High School Students

The Promise of Extended Learning Opportunities: New, Powerful, and Personalized Options for High School Students

February 05, 2013

 

NICHOLAS C. DONOHUE

This article by NMEF President & CEO Nicholas C. Donohue was published in the research compendium, Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success.

In this piece, Donohue describes the potential that expanded learning opportunities can have in systematically changing a learning ecosystem. Expanded learning opportunities can serve as a “sweet spot” for school-community partnerships and collaboration.

 

New models are emerging that may help move our educational system from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice we have known it to be, to a design that might well be described as an orchestra.

2015-2011

Weaving Skill Ropes: Using Metaphor to Enhance Understanding of Skills and Learning

Weaving Skill Ropes: Using Metaphor to Enhance Understanding of Skills and Learning

March 19, 2013

 

MICHAEL ERARD

This report from the FrameWorks Institute’s Core Story of Education project presents “Weaving Skill Ropes” as an explanatory metaphor to help explain the concepts of skills and learning–specifically, what skills students need to succeed in a 21st century economy, how these skills are learned, and how cognitive and emotional learning skills are related.

 

Learning is the brain weaving skills into ropes. Learners need chances to develop all the strands, to learn how to weave and reweave them together, and to use the resulting ropes.

2015-2011

High Tech High Network: Student-Centered Learning in Action

High Tech High Network: Student-Centered Learning in Action

August 21, 2013

 

DAVID STEPHEN AND EVE GOLDBERG

At High Tech High schools in San Diego, students are evaluated on mastery of content—not time spent in class. Students engage in multi-disciplinary and field-based learning opportunities to build skills like critical thinking, problem solving and communication. Each teacher works to develop a personalized school culture, which is supported externally by a network of community members, parents and professionals.

 

Four design principles facilitate a student-centered school culture: personalization; adult world connection; common intellectual mission; and teacher as designer.

2015-2011

Education Indicators for Maine 2013

Education Indicators for Maine 2013

November 08, 2013

 

TANNA CLEWS AND MICHAEL E. DUBYAK

In its first Education Indicators for Maine report, Educate Maine assesses the state’s education pipeline according to ten indicators of success, from public pre-K to on-time college graduation. The authors emphasize the need for early childhood programs, college- and career-ready graduates, and more Mainers with post-secondary degrees to guarantee Maine’s future success. They also make recommendations for all members of the community to involve themselves in education reform.

 

Workforce skill level is the most important issue facing Maine businesses that wish to grow. It’s imperative that our public schools prepare students to be college- and work-ready, and that they graduate with demonstrated proficiencies.

2015-2011

Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems

Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems

November 13, 2013

 

BENJAMIN FORMAN, JULIANNE VIOLA, AND CAROLINE KOCH

To sustain Massachusetts’s economic growth and ensure all students graduate college and career ready, the state should look to its Gateway Cities, small to midsize urban centers that are home to one quarter of Massachusetts school-age youth, for opportunities to innovate.

This report documents the needs, hopes, and policy recommendations of those cities. Focusing on early education, social and emotional growth, pathways to college and career, and immigrants, leaders offer their vision for a revitalization of education and economic development in their communities and across the state.

 

The collaboration of the present must, over time, evolve into much larger, community-wide joint ventures that unify whole sectors of the city in a shared, ambitious pursuit of success for all children and families.

2015-2011

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education

January 01, 2014

 

CHRIS STURGIS

How do you design grading policies that actually communicate academic performance to students and parents? As more schools and districts begin to develop competency-based pathways that allow students to progress based on demonstrated mastery of content knowledge and skills rather than just time spent in a classroom, it is imperative that they rethink their grading systems around competency.

 

You simply can’t give credit for less than a minimum level of proficiency.

2015-2011

College Readiness Meets Global Competence

College Readiness Meets Global Competence

January 13, 2014

 

KATIE BAYERL AND EVE GOLDBERG

In 2003, Asia Society launched a network of schools with an ambitious, two-part mission: close the achievement gap for low-income and historically underserved secondary students, and address the growing opportunity gap between what American schools typically teach and the knowledge, skills and dispositions required for full participation in a global economy.

This school profile dives deep into the curriculum that Asia Society is using to ensure its students are both college-ready and globally-competent.

 

When students have global competencies and global awareness, it both figuratively and literally expands what their horizons are, so that their lives can be much richer and their own estimation of what they can do grows incredibly.

2015-2011

Student-Centered Learning: Life Academy of Health and Bioscience

Student-Centered Learning: Life Academy of Health and Bioscience

January 29, 2014

 

NICKOLE RICHARDSON AND JOE FELDMAN

At Life Academy of Health and Biosciences (Life Academy) in Oakland, California, student voice and choice drives every decision: what and how to teach, what structure will equip students and teachers to know and believe in each other, and how to bring out the best in students.

At Life Academy, 99% of the student population is economically disadvantaged—yet students significantly outperform their peers at other district schools. Through the incorporation of student-centered approaches to learning, Life Academy has created structures, rituals and instruction that give students opportunities, voice, and multiple chances at success.

 

We champion kids and make them feel really successful and they are. They blow us out of the water all the time with what they’re able to do.

2015-2011

Student-Centered Learning: Impact Academy of Arts and Technology

Student-Centered Learning: Impact Academy of Arts and Technology

January 29, 2014

 

CHANNA MAE COOK-HARVEY

With a distinct focus on personalization and student engagement, Impact Academy of Arts and Technology High School (Impact Academy) stands out as a unique learning environment when compared to neighboring comprehensive high schools. At Impact Academy, students are expected to know how to synthesize information, determine what’s important, and present what they’ve learned. The school’s assessment model, exhibitions, and defenses become the ultimate measure of whether a student fully understands a concept.

With more than half of its students living in poverty, Impact Academy is an exemplar of what student-centered teaching and learning looks like in an urban center. This report explores how student-centered approaches and personalization have fostered a culture of success at Impact Academy.

 

Keeping students at the center, both when you’re designing curriculum and when you’re teaching, means incorporating as much student involvement as you possibly can—that’s where the whole project-based learning piece comes in.

2015-2011

Student-Centered Learning: City Arts and Technology High School

Student-Centered Learning: City Arts and Technology High School

January 29, 2014

 

HEATHER LEWIS-CHARP AND TINA LAW

City Arts and Technology High School (CAT) emphasizes a strong student-centered focus, student-based inquiry, self-reflection, student exhibitions and portfolio defenses, and ongoing professional development for teachers. CAT holds students to high academic expectations by nurturing strong relationships with the students and coherent instructional approaches and expectations to help provide consistency for their students, many of whom had not previously experienced academic success.

“Our mission is to transform students’ lives by preparing them for success in college in life…and we believe the core to that is preparing first-generation students, often students of color…for success in college,” says principal Daniel Allen.

This report from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) explores how CAT is using student-centered approaches to learning to ensure that all students, especially those who are underserved, are college-ready upon graduation.

 

CAT lets the students be themselves, and [because of that] they open up to learning.

2015-2011

Student-Centered Learning: Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

Student-Centered Learning: Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

January 29, 2014

 

DIANE FRIEDLAENDER

In this report, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) explores student-centered learning practices at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DMHS) in California—a school serving predominately low-income students and students of color.

Within just five years of opening, the school has seen achievement levels far exceeding schools with similar student populations. DMHS is using student-centered, experiential education to make learning relevant. The school is infusing its health care focus across its curriculum through interdisciplinary, project-based instruction that focuses on student mastery. This means students are engaged and are learning critical work-ready skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.

 

Every student valued, every student challenged, every student prepared to succeed in a changing world.

2015-2011

A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change

A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change

February 01, 2014

 

MARIA WORTHEN AND LILLIAN PACE

Providing federal policymakers with a comprehensive vision for supporting state and local efforts to implement student-centered learning, this report describes barriers and opportunities within federal education policy education policy frameworks and identifies how the federal government is in a unique position to catalyze and scale student-centered learning.

 

It is time to move away from traditional assumptions about how schools should look, how teachers should teach, and how students should learn.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What is Proficiency-Based Grading?

Leadership in Action: What is Proficiency-Based Grading?

February 26, 2014

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium outlines what separates proficiency-based grading from traditional grading.

 

Proficiency-based grades separate academic achievement from behaviors.

2015-2011

Ready for College and Career?

Ready for College and Career?

March 20, 2014

 

KARIN HESS, BRIAN GONG, AND REBECCA STEINITZ

Ready for College and Career? Achieving the Common Core Standards and Beyond Through Deeper, Student-Centered Learning examines how to prepare students to succeed in postsecondary life.

The report finds that a range of cross-cutting skills like communication, innovation and self-regulation are crucial to student success. Student-centered approaches to learning can equip students with a range of skills necessary to succeed in the Common Core, college, and career.

 

Student-centered learning approaches may be one of our best means for achieving a more integrated and realistic vision of college and career readiness.

2015-2011

The New Opportunity to Lead

The New Opportunity to Lead

March 24, 2014

 

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION (MBAE) AND BRIGHTLINES

Massachusetts’ education system is high-performing when benchmarked against the rest of the country and even the world. However, the current system will not deliver the transformation needed to meet the demands of a new economy.

The report concludes that districts, schools and instruction must be transformed if students are to compete successfully in the global economy and Massachusetts is to remain a hub of innovation.

 

While the education system in Massachusetts might not be broken, it is certainly not equipped to meet the needs of the 21st century.

2015-2011

Leadership in Action: What Are Personal Learning Plans?

Leadership in Action: What Are Personal Learning Plans?

May 05, 2014

 

NEW ENGLAND SECONDARY SCHOOL CONSORTIUM

This issue brief from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Leadership in Action series outlines what personal learning plans look like, and how schools are using them to help students achieve short and long-term learning goals.

 

Personal learning plans can bring greater focus, direction, and purpose to the decisions students make about their high school education.

2015-2011

Student-Centered Schools Study: Closing the Opportunity Gap

Student-Centered Schools Study: Closing the Opportunity Gap

June 12, 2014

 

STANFORD CENTER FOR OPPORTUNITY POLICY IN EDUCATION (SCOPE)

New research from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) finds that creating student-centered learning environments is one of the most promising ways to address the opportunity gap.

These student-centered environments emphasize supportive relationships between students and teachers in academic environments that are challenging, relevant, collaborative, student-directed, and connected to real-life situations. In all of California, schools studied as part of this project, African-American, Latino, economically disadvantaged, and English language learner students achieved above—and in some cases, substantially above—similar students in their districts and state.

This research consists of numerous reports and tools, including four case studies, a cross-case analysis of the research, a research brief, policy brief, and a practitioner tool—all of which can be downloaded from the SCOPE website.

 

Despite the many forces limiting learning opportunities for low-income students and students of color over the last decade, some schools have managed to create a context within which a rich, engaging curriculum is offered to all students in a manner that personalizes education and supports students’ individual needs.

2015-2011 CRPE Reinventing Education Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What’s Real and What’s Imagined?

Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What’s Real and What’s Imagined?

June 24, 2014

 

LAWRENCE J. MILLER AND JANE S. LEE

States and districts have traditionally controlled the publications that go into schools and regulated the practices that governed them. Today though, school leaders who are empowered to make the decisions they think will most benefit students are organizing in new ways and attempting to provide students with a more personalized learning experience.

But even principals who use their newfound independence to aggressively reallocate publications say that persistent district, state, and federal barriers prohibit them from doing more. The authors of this report investigated the barriers principals cited, sometimes with the assistance of state education agencies, to determine whether there were work-arounds that principals didn’t realize. What the authors found is simultaneously troubling and encouraging: principals have far more authority than they think. Only 31% of the barriers cited were “real” – immovable statues, policies, or managerial directives that bring the threat of real consequences if broken.

 

Our conversations with educators, school and district leaders have helped us capture a snapshot of a promising but developing market.

2015-2011

Personal Opportunity Plans

Personal Opportunity Plans

July 15, 2014

 

CAROL MILLER LIEBER

The well-being of our next generation and the economic and social health of our nation are at risk when students are not equipped with the support necessary to succeed in college and beyond.

Personal Opportunity Plans (POPs) – an ongoing process designed to maximize a student’s academic and personal development – create a set of systems and structures for supporting students at every step along their path toward a satisfying and successful future. This paper aims to support the adoption of POPs in conjunction with districts’ and schools’ efforts to bridge the gap between advocacy and implementation.

 

By qualifying the student planning process with the words ‘personal’ and ‘opportunity,’ POPs have the potential to become meaningful and empowering experiences for the entire range of learners.

2015-2011

The Past and the Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement

The Past and the Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement

September 23, 2014

 

CECILIA LE, REBECCA E. WOLFE AND ADRIA STEINBERG

In competency-based schools, students advance based upon mastery of material, rather than time spent in a classroom in age-based cohorts. In a competency-based model, teachers provide customized supports to help propel everyone to proficiency.

The Past and The Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement is the first paper in Students at the Center’s new Competency Education Research Series. This paper lays a foundation for assessing the potential of competency-based models, grounded in an exploration of the outcomes from previous like-minded efforts.

 

Competency education is one important part of a broader vision of education reform that places students at the center of their learning.

2015-2011

Building Multiple Pathways to a High School Diploma: A Cost Study of Non-Traditional Academic Options

Building Multiple Pathways to a High School Diploma: A Cost Study of Non-Traditional Academic Options

October 02, 2014

 

THE RENNIE CENTER FOR EDUCATION RESEARCH & POLICY AND MASSBUDGET

This report asks how school districts can support diverse learners with a menu of opportunities that lead to high school graduation and postsecondary success. Building Multiple Pathways looks closely at four different routes to a high school diploma, including costs and implications for developing a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to supporting student success.

 

While the traditional school structure may work for some students, it undoubtedly is a barrier for many.

2015-2011

Uplifting the Whole Child: Using Wraparound Services to Overcome Social Barriers to Learning

Uplifting the Whole Child: Using Wraparound Services to Overcome Social Barriers to Learning

October 02, 2014

 

COLIN A. JONES

Students facing family, health and economic challenges enter schools with complex barriers to success. This report from MassBudget and the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy examines what effective wraparound services look like, and how they might be implemented in Massachusetts and across the country.

 

Wraparound services have the potential to help children, families, and teachers alike.

2015-2011

From Learning to Leadership: A Cost Study of Early Career Supports for Teachers

From Learning to Leadership: A Cost Study of Early Career Supports for Teachers

October 02, 2014

 

THE RENNIE CENTER FOR EDUCATION RESEARCH & POLICY AND MASSBUDGET

While many agree that the classroom teacher is the single most important in-school factor in student learning, there is much debate about the structures, experiences and policies that best nurture teacher growth. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that early career induction and mentoring are critical leverage points for beginning teacher development. Intensive professional supports during a teacher’s first few years in the classroom have been linked to positive effects on job satisfaction, commitment, and retention, as well as overall effectiveness.

For example, research notes that mentoring from an experienced teacher in the same discipline reduces a new teacher’s risk of leaving at the end of the first year by about 30 percent. And, a recent review of the literature found that students of beginning teachers who participated in early career induction programs had higher gains on academic achievement tests. Unfortunately, intensive induction and mentoring experiences are not part of many teachers’ initial workplace experiences. This lack of support undermines the stability and long-term development of the profession and the potential for beginning teachers to emerge as future education leaders.

 

It has become increasingly clear that early career induction and mentoring are critical leverage points for beginning teacher development.

2015-2011

An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards From Abroad

An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards From Abroad

October 13, 2014

 

SUSAN PATRICK AND SARA FRANK BRISTOW

This paper highlights components of competency education in international practice, to inform US policymakers and decision makers seeking to implement high-quality competency pathways at the state or local level. The report includes a brief lesson in the international vocabulary of competency education and explores practices in Finland, British Columbia (Canada), New Zealand and Scotland.

 

Policymakers and educators abroad are exploring diverse ways of structuring teaching and learning in both time and space.

2015-2011

Equity in Competency Education: Realizing the Potential, Overcoming the Obstacles

Equity in Competency Education: Realizing the Potential, Overcoming the Obstacles

November 04, 2014

 

RAND EDUCATION AND JOBS FOR THE FUTURE

Competency-based education is designed to promote equity by preventing students from falling behind. In practice, however, poorly implemented competency-based programs could inadvertently increase inequity – in opportunities and outcomes. This paper examines equity concerns in competency education through the lens of family income.

 

Equity is both a central goal and fundamental value of competency education.

2015-2011

An Up-Close Look at Student-Centered Math Teaching

An Up-Close Look at Student-Centered Math Teaching

November 04, 2015

 

KIRK WALTERS, TONI M. SMITH, STEVE LEINWAND, WENDY SURR, ABIGAIL STEIN & PAUL BAILEY

Today, far too many students see mathematics as a subject to be endured, rather than a subject of real-world importance and personal value. But this doesn’t have to be the case. When teachers use student-centered techniques to engage students in more active and authentic ways, they can transform math classrooms into lively learning environments in which students take charge of their own learning, collaborate with others, persist in solving complicated problems and make meaningful connections to the world around them.

A new study from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) finds that students in high-quality, student-centered classrooms are more engaged and demonstrate higher performance on problem-solving assessments.

 

Our quantitative analyses showed positive, significant relationships between the study’s measure of student-centered practices and students’ engagement and problem-solving skills.

2015-2011

Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning: Insights from Experts

Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning: Insights from Experts

March 23, 2015

 

SUSAN PATRICK AND CHRIS STURGIS

Today’s modern economy and higher education space demands a diverse and specialized array of academic, technical and problem-solving skills. To ensure students are both college and career ready, K-12 schools nationwide are exploring new approaches to provide greater personalization, ensuring every student has the knowledge, skills, and competencies to succeed. In this paper, Competency Works assembles insights from a two-day conversation with twenty-three field experts who work in competency education, personalized learning, and blended learning.

 

It’s no longer viable to rely on one-size-fits-all curriculum or move students on in age-based cohorts regardless of if they need more time or have the prerequisite skills for the next grade.

2015-2011

Blended Instruction

Blended Instruction

April 07, 2015

 

EDUCATION CONNECTION AND EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT CENTER (EDC)

Digital technology is here to stay, with new tools and media for learning finding their way into schools and young people’s lives each year. But even as interest in technology-enhanced instruction grows, many educators struggle with how to use technology in ways that promote student engagement and achievement. One promising approach, blended instruction, combines web-based learning with face-to-face classroom interaction.

In this report, Connecticut-based nonprofit EDUCATION CONNECTION finds that when blended learning is implemented in a student-centered fashion, students form strong, technology-enhanced connections with peers and teachers, and become more self-directed and confident learners.

 

Student-centered learning shows promise as a way to engage and motivate young learners, deepen their interactions with academic content, and achieve the positive outcomes that pave the way to long-term success.

2015-2011

Centered on Results: Assessing the Impact of Student-Centered Learning

Centered on Results: Assessing the Impact of Student-Centered Learning

April 29, 2015

 

NELLIE MAE EDUCATION FOUNDATION

While many of the concepts and approaches that comprise student-centered learning (SCL) have deep roots in learning theory, the cognitive sciences, and youth and child development, empirical research on SCL’s impact in K-12 classrooms remains limited.

To address this gap, the Foundation recently commissioned a series of studies that evaluate the effects of a variety of student-centered practices in secondary schools. The outcomes of this study were largely positive, demonstrating meaningful effects on student achievement and engagement.

 

Student-centered learning shows promise as a way to engage and motivate young learners, deepen their interactions with academic content, and achieve the positive outcomes that pave the way to long-term success.

2015-2011

Implementing Competency Education in K–12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders

Implementing Competency Education in K–12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders

June 01, 2015

 

CHRIS STURGIS

After five years of interviews and site visits with field leaders, this paper distills best practices from a handful of those converting to competency-based systems. Key highlights include strategies to engage, motivate, and teach all students to proficiency and mastery, shifts in instruction toward deeper learning and meaningful assessments for learning, and new models of distributed leadership and educator empowerment.

 

The traditional, time-based education system is failing students. Competency education creates a system-wide infrastructure that creates the necessary feedback loops to ensure that students are learning.

2015-2011

A State Policy Framework for Scaling Personalized Learning

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

August 01, 2015

 

KNOWLEDGE WORKS

This policy framework identifies strategies to guide states and districts when scaling personalized learning. The framework – developed with insights from school districts, state education agencies, policymakers and education organizations – focuses on innovations around curriculum, assessment, learning environments, and partnerships to support scaling personalized learning.

 

Districts should have the opportunity to apply for increased flexibility in order to implement the conditions required to scale personalized learning.

2015-2011

Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching

Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching

August 01, 2015

 

JOBS FOR THE FUTURE AND THE COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS

Student-centered learning is a powerful framework teachers can be used to deeply engage students and prepare them for college and careers. As student-centered learning becomes more widely practiced, educators will need to acquire new skills and knowledge that will allow them to create truly personalized, student-centered environments. This document serves to identify the knowledge, skills, and dispositions educators need to effectively implement personalized learning.

 

The development of Educator Competencies…serves as a first step in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that educators need in order to create and thrive in effective personalized, learner-centered environments.

2015-2011

Education Indicators for Maine 2015

Education Indicators for Maine 2015

October 28, 2015

 

EDUCATE MAINE

In this report, Educate Maine examines 10 indicators around education access, achievement, and participation for Maine students. Beyond promoting discussion, this paper serves as a call to action for increasing engagement, positive dialogue, and support for promising strategies amongst stakeholders so all Maine’s students receive the education they deserve.

 

If we are to address the very real achievement gaps that exist in our communities and in our schools, we will need to commit to making substantive changes in our systems in order to ensure that all students can achieve.

2015-2011

The Connected Classroom: Understanding the Landscape of Technology for Student-Centered Learning

The Connected Classroom: Understanding the Landscape of Technology for Student-Centered Learning

December 09, 2015

 

THE NELLIE MAE EDUCATION FOUNDATION AND PARTHENON-EY

Across the country, educators and leaders have adopted, adapted, created and implemented a broad range of technology supports to help deepen student-centered learning opportunities. To help the Foundation best assist its grantees in effectively leveraging technology supports, it engaged Parthenon-EY to assess the education technology landscape and pinpoint the needs of education practitioners pursuing student-centered learning practices.

 

Our conversations with educators, school and district leaders have helped us capture a snapshot of a promising but developing market.

2020-2016

Student-Centered Learning Opportunities For Adolescent English Learners In Flipped Classrooms

Student-Centered Learning Opportunities For Adolescent English Learners In Flipped Classrooms

April 19, 2016

 

AVARY CARHILL-POZA, PH.D. AND PANAYOTA GOUNARI, PH.D.

As schools look to raise standards and close achievement gaps, they need effective strategies for serving English language learners, the fastest-growing segment of the school-age population who have historically lagged behind their native English-speaking peers on state assessments and in graduation rates.

Flipped learning, which blends in-person and online learning to maximize student and teacher interactions, shows potential for accelerating English learners’ progress. In a flipped classroom, students access direct instruction on their own time, while class time is used for interactive lessons, collaborative projects, and personalized teacher support.

This study from the University of Massachusetts-Boston examines how flipped learning can be utilized to improve the language and content acquisition of adolescent English language learners.

 

Student-centered approaches to instruction show potential to close the achievement gap between English learners and their peers, supporting students’ acquisition of both academic language and content.

2020-2016

A Qualitative Study of Student-Centered Learning Practices in New England High Schools

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

April 28, 2016

 

GABRIEL REIF, M.ED., GRETA SHULTZ, ED.D. AND STEVEN ELLIS, M.P.A.

What exactly does student-centered learning look like in New England schools?

This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of student-centered approaches in 12 schools across the region, highlighting the richness and complexity of these practices and the impact they have on students, staff and schools. This study additionally examines the broad array of factors within and beyond school walls that can foster and challenge the implementation of student-centered practices.

 

A lot of our students come from very traditional school settings where they haven’t had as much choice and voice. It takes a while for them to take that leap. It can be astounding to see how much people can get accomplished once they are fully invested. It’s not work anymore. It’s doing what you love.

2020-2016

Seizing the Moment: Realizing the Promise of Student-Centered Learning

Seizing the Moment: Realizing the Promise of Student-Centered Learning

May 24, 2016

 

OUR PIECE OF THE PIE

A growing body of evidence points to the efficacy of student-centered approaches in closing achievement gaps while also raising the bar for all students. This research, combined with the advent of the new Every Student Succeeds Act, provides major new opportunities for states and local school districts to reconsider how they can best provide educational opportunities for all students through student-centered approaches.

This policy brief presents a series of recommendations for building public will in support of student-centered learning, including policy priorities that can help to expand its practices more broadly at the local, state, and federal levels. It incorporates profiles of schools and programs which illustrate the power of student-centered learning in action.

 

We believe the time is right to redouble efforts to uncover and unleash students’ potential to learn and apply knowledge, to pursue and refine their talents, and to become the kinds of lifelong learners they will need to be for success in the balance of the 21st century.

2020-2016

Looking Under The Hood Of Competency-Based Education

Looking Under The Hood Of Competency-Based Education

June 29, 2016

 

AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH

Competency-based education (CBE), an instructional approach that emphasizes what students learn and master rather than how much time they spend in school, is gaining popularity nationwide. CBE environments provide students with personalized learning, autonomy, flexibility, and responsibility for their own learning, which is theorized to improve learning behaviors.

This study aimed to rigorously examine the relationship between CBE practices and changes in these learning capacities (such as the skills, behaviors, and dispositions that enhance student capacity to learn in school).

 

To best understand how CBE may be positively influencing the learning of students, we need to more closely examine the implementation of specific CBE practices.

2020-2016

Under the Hood Appendices

Under the Hood Appendices

July, 2016

 

AIR’s Survey of Educational Policies and Practices Study of Competency-based Education Teacher Survey

2020-2016

Education Indicators for Maine 2016

Education Indicators for Maine 2016

October 28, 2016

 

EDUCATE MAINE

This is the fourth installment of an annual report by Educate Maine, developed to explore and understand Maine’s entire education system beginning in early childhood and continuing throughout adulthood. Using ten critical indicators around access, participation, and performance, the report provides a snapshot of the state’s education system. Beyond promoting discussion, this paper serves as a call to action for increasing engagement, positive dialogue, and support for promising strategies amongst stakeholders so all Maine’s students receive the education they deserve.

 

Maine has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country – a point of pride – but too many of those students aren’t moving on to the next stage with all of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.

2020-2016

Results from a Two-Year Study of the Effects of Extended Learning Opportunities on Student Outcomes in New Hampshire

Results from a Two-Year Study of the Effects of Extended Learning Opportunities on Student Outcomes in New Hampshire

November 10, 2016

 

RESEARCH FOR ACTION

New Hampshire has become a leader in extended learning opportunities, an innovative approach to learning developed through workplace apprenticeships, online courses, independent studies, performance projects, internships and more. In this report, Research for Action provides a comprehensive analysis of ELO program effects in New Hampshire – specifically, how various components of district and school-level ELO implementation relate to student participation, and how ELO participation influences interim and longer-term student outcomes.

 

Extended learning opportunities are designed to expand the curriculum in powerful ways, separating learning from traditional school schedules and providing diverse students with varied and engaging contexts for acquiring new knowledge and skills.

2020-2016

Low-Stakes Completion-Based Funding: A New Approach to Financing Competency-Based Education

Low-Stakes Completion-Based Funding: A New Approach to Financing Competency-Based Education

October 15, 2018

 

FLORIDA SOUTHWESTERN STATE COLLEGE

While many states do not view online charter schools as an area for innovation within existing charter school regulations, New Hampshire has leapt into uncharted state policy and experimented with new pathways towards increasing student success by developing a unique funding system called “low-stakes completion-based funding”. This report looks to explore this model and inform state and school leaders of new possibilities for financing student learning in their virtual school sectors.

 

New Hampshire has developed a unique approach to performance-based budgeting—called completion-based funding (CBF) —that seeks to improve student outcomes by funding schools when students complete assignments rather than when they enroll in or attend classes.

2020-2016

Online Courses For Credit Recovery In High Schools: Effectiveness And Promising Practices

Online Courses For Credit Recovery In High Schools: Effectiveness And Promising Practices

April 10, 2017

 

UMASS DONAHUE INSTITUTE

Two important trends in American high school education are providing new opportunities for underserved students to access a high school diploma. Over the past decade, credit acceleration and recovery programs have become increasingly popular as schools seek ways to help struggling students catch up and graduate. Second, online learning has quickly gained traction as an alternate means of instructional delivery for high school students. Online credit recovery represents the convergence of these two innovations, offering flexible learning options for students with diverse learning needs.

How effective is online credit recovery at increasing student engagement and achievement? This study examines 24 Massachusetts high schools that developed credit recovery programs and provides insights and best practices for teachers and districts looking to implement them.

 

High schools and programs participating in the MassGrad initiative have demonstrated that offering online courses for credit recovery can improve key educational outcomes for underserved students.

2020-2016

An Introduction to the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education

An Introduction to the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education

June 13, 2017

 

CHRIS STURGIS AND SUSAN PATRICK

As our understanding of competency-based education has grown, so has our understanding of critical issues that must be addressed in order to ensure high-quality implementation and equitable access and outcomes. To chart the course for the next wave of innovation, implementation, and expansion in competency education, CompetencyWorks will convene the second National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education. In advance of the Summit, they have released new draft reports exploring key issues challenging the field of competency education:

  • An Introduction to the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education
  • In Pursuit of Equality: A Framework for Equity Strategies in Personalized, Competency-Based Education
  • In Search of Efficacy: Defining the Elements of Quality in a Competency-Based Education System
  • Meeting Students Where They Are
  • Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education

 

The issues of equity, quality, policy for the long-term, and meeting students where they are, are all important to expanding the field of competency education.

2020-2016

How Family, School, and Community Engagement Can Improve Student Achievement and Influence School Reform

How Family, School, and Community Engagement Can Improve Student Achievement and Influence School Reform

June 23, 2017

 

LACY WOOD AND EMILY BAUMAN

Family engagement is increasingly recognized as a critical link in advancing school reform efforts, and the current emphasis on successful strategies for school turnaround necessitates research-based information and practices on effective family and community engagement approaches that support student achievement and school improvement.

To assist in the goal of understanding how family and community partnerships can promote school improvement efforts, this literature review strives to address the following questions:

1. What are the key components (practices, challenges, conditions, goals, and outcomes) of promising family-school partnerships that support school- and district-level reform?

2. How do promising partnerships involve families and communities in education reform?

 

These findings reveal that there is a demonstrable connection between family engagement, school improvement, and student outcomes. Schools and districts should focus not only on family engagement, but also on establishing strong partnerships and relationships with families and communities.

2020-2016

Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education

Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education

September 07, 2017

 

JOBS FOR THE FUTURE AND THE COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS

The Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education(Leadership Competencies) serve as a first step in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions leaders must master in order to build and sustain learner-centered, personalized schools and learning environments. The hope is that these competencies serve as a helpful step toward building present- and future-focused systems of education in which each student can fulfill their learning potential and head into postsecondary life ready to succeed in their careers and communities.

 

To develop and support effective leaders in education today, we must renew and refocus our attention on learning and the learner. While this may not sound radical, if we scratch the surface of this call, we’ll find a need for transformational leadership.

2020-2016

CBE 360 Survey Toolkit

CBE 360 Survey Toolkit

September 07, 2027

 

AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH (AIR)

Competency-based education allows students to master skills and knowledge at their own pace, and has been gaining popularity nationwide as teachers seek ways to ensure that every student is well prepared for college and career. The CBE 360 Survey Toolkit, developed by American Institutes for Research (AIR), uses surveys from a recent AIR CBE study to provide a comprehensive picture of CBE implementation in six research-based core areas: learning targets, measurement of learning, instructional approaches, and supports, assessment of learning, pacing and progression, and when and where learning takes place.

 

The CBE 360 Survey Toolkit includes:

  • CBE Survey User Guide: A user-friendly guide on administering or adapting the surveys, exploring results, and interpreting and using your findings.
  • Toolkit Checklist: A checklist to confirm that you’ve taken all five steps necessary to prepare for survey administration.
  • Student CBE Experiences (SCE) Survey: A 20-minute survey designed for middle or high school students that include questions regarding CBE-related experiences in school.
  • Teacher CBE Practices (TCP) Survey: A 20-minute survey designed for academic teaching staff that includes questions on CBE-related practices across all of their courses, schoolwide policies and practices, and more in-depth questions about CBE-related practices in one selected course.
  • Surveys Construct Map: A map specifying which survey items and item sets are aligned with each of the six CBE feature areas to help customize surveys for local needs.
  • Consent Guidance and Sample Parent/Guardian Consent Form: Example consent forms that can be modified to align with your district or school’s requirements.
  • Survey Administration Instructions: Guidelines to help you plan for survey administration including instructions and scripts to ensure a consistent and efficient administration process.
  • Technical Appendix:  A resource that provides the technical properties for the surveys and details regarding survey development and testing.
As students work toward achieving competency at their own pace, they typically experience higher expectations for their learning coupled with more individualized support, greater autonomy, flexibility, responsibility, and a clearer sense of their learning goals. Research suggests that these types of classroom conditions are associated with increased student engagement, motivation, self-efficacy, and other learning capacities that help predict academic success.

 

2020-2016

Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education

Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education

October 28, 2017

 

COMPETENCYWORKS

Competency-based learning is on the rise in high schools across America. This new report outlines four key issues – quality, equity, meeting students where they are, and policy – that are critical to enabling competency education to scale with quality and sustainability.

 

Designing for equity and quality is the only path forward to creating an education system that is effective for every student, not just for some. If we fail to do so, students will not receive the education they so deeply deserve and as a movement competency-based education may falter.

The Better Math Teaching Network: Lessons Learned from the First Year

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

April 05, 2018

AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH

Far too many students are disengaged in understanding algebra. Since Algebra I is the gatekeeper to advanced math and science coursework, this seriously limits their future educational and career opportunities.

The Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN) is a networked improvement community of New England researchers, teachers, and instructional leaders who are using improvement science principles to increase the number of students deeply and actively engaged in understanding algebra. The BMTN’s quick-cycle testing allows teachers to refine and share student-centered instructional routines across the network. This report details the findings from the BMTN’s first full year of implementation.

 

BMTN is firmly committed to creating student-centered algebra classrooms in which students are actively and deeply engaged in understanding the content.

2020-2016Uncategorized

Youth Organizing: A Model for Change

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

August 03, 2018

 

ALGORHTHYM

In August 2016, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation launched an evaluation of our Amplifying Student Voice and Leadership (ASVL) grantees to learn more about their efforts over a five-year period. This evaluation is representative of eight youth organizing groups. Through this study, the Foundation learned that different types of youth organizing models the grantees were using were producing distinct results and promoting various levels of leadership.

These findings—summarized in this brief report—helped the Foundation learn about different models of organizing and their potential for sustainable change. We have developed this issue brief for youth and their adult allies in youth organizing groups, as well others who are interested in learning more about youth organizing. We hope this will help you reflect on your youth organizing model so that you can continue to grow and improve it.

 

The success of movements around the world is the result of skilled, knowledgeable, and passionate individuals who have been prepared to assume the responsibility to lead.

2020-2016

The Better Math Teaching Network Year One: Developmental Evaluation Report

The Better Math Teaching Network Year One: Developmental Evaluation Report

October 01, 2018

 

PARTNERS FOR NETWORK IMPROVEMENT (PNI) AT UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

 

This report provides a descriptive and analytic portrait of the Better Math Teaching Network’s first year of operation using data including:

  • Observations of a whole- and small-group network meetings
  • Interviews with participating teachers were conducted at multiple time points throughout the year
  • Teachers’ responses to a survey designed to measure teachers experiences with key features of the NIC concept
  • Analysis of teachers’ formal and informal connections to one another that are facilitated by the network
  • Documentation teachers generate through their improvement cycles
  • Classroom observations and follow-up interviews with a small sample of teachers.

 

The Better Math Teaching Network aimed to harness the problem-solving power of networks in pursuit of more student-centered teaching and learning.

2020-2016

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

Supporting Youth Organizing: A Tale of Unexpected Insights

October 15, 2018

 

ALGORHTHYM

In August 2016, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) commissioned Algorhythm to conduct an evaluation of eight (out of the twelve they were funding at the time) Amplifying Student Voice and Leadership (ASVL) grantees so they could learn more about their efforts supporting youth organizing work over a five-year period. Through this study, we have gained three key insights, many unexpected, that might support other grantmakers as they consider how to support youth-led social change initiatives.

Thanks to the Algorhythm study—and several other simultaneous studies it commissioned, in which racial equity emerged as a core theme—NMEF is realizing that it will need to address equity more directly, specifically when it comes to supporting youth organizing work. We have developed this issue brief for funders who support youth organizing groups or those considering doing so, and we hope the insights shared can help any donor trying to develop effective youth-adult partnerships.

 

Supporting youth organizations means creating space for youth to name and advance their own agendas.

2020-2016

Building Power: One Foundation’s Story of Funding Grassroots Organizing and Engagement

Building Power: One Foundation’s Story of Funding Grassroots Organizing and Engagement

June 2019

 

In 2014, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation began funding three projects that together comprise the Grassroots Portfolio: Civic and Family Engagement, Community Organizing, and Amplifying Student Voice and Leadership. This work was part of the Public Understanding and Demand component of NMEF’s grantmaking strategy.

Following a Foundation-wide equity assessment in 2017, and a review of the Foundation’s strategy, NMEF commissioned Algorhythm to examine its Public Understanding and Demand evaluation and grantmaking documents, with the ultimate goal of helping NMEF better understand its role in the grassroots organizing and engagement work. This brief explores NMEF’s journey in funding the Grassroots Portfolio and shares lessons learned.

 

I realized that I have a voice for my children and nobody is going to stop me from advocating for them.

2020-2016

Student-Centered Learning Continuum

Student-Centered Learning Continuum

July 2019

 

The Nellie Mae team has been working hand in hand with teachers, school leaders, and researchers to develop a set of criteria that detail the characteristics of high-quality, student-centered learning in classrooms, schools, and districts — a Student-Centered Learning (SCL) Continuum.
This tool is the result of eight years of work focused on student-centered learning, and our hope is for the SCL Continuum to be a living document, updated over time based on the input of practitioners who are working to champion student-centered practices every day.

In addition to the attached PDF, an interactive version of the Continuum is available here.

 

Because every context is different, we don’t believe there is a purposeful path every learning environment needs to follow to high-level SCL; progressions towards SCL are more fluid in practice.

2020-2016

Teaching and Learning with Technology in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms

Teaching and Learning with Technology in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms

August 2019

We know that English Learner (EL) students are an incredibly diverse group and that meeting their needs requires an understanding of how differences in teaching and learning styles affect their language and content learning in classrooms. This exploratory study examines how teaching practices in technology-enhanced classrooms relate to the learning experiences and outcomes (both language and content) of diverse adolescent English learner students.

 

The study explores questions including:

-What features of technology-enhanced classrooms support language and content learning for EL students?
-How do student learning practices (e.g., student participation and student talk) exemplify classroom features associated with positive educational outcomes and experiences for EL students?
-What EL student characteristics mediate associations between features of technology-enhanced classrooms and language and content learning outcomes?
-How do diverse EL students experience technology as part of their learning?

 

This school provides a lot of subjects and it has technology …. In my old school we only had one room that had technology in it.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Measuring High Quality, Student-Centered Learning

Posted by Nina Culbertson

 

At the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we support schools and communities that are working to reshape education to be more student-centered — where learning is personalized, competency-based, happens anytime, anywhere, and where students take ownership over their own learning. But what does high-quality, rigorous student-centered learning actually look like in practice? That’s the question that the Foundation, in partnership with the RAND Corporation, has been looking to answer over the past year.

Our team has been working hand in hand with teachers, school leaders, and researchers to develop a set of criteria that detail the characteristics of high-quality, student-centered learning in classrooms, schools, and districts — a Student-Centered Learning Continuum (SCL Continuum). This continuum represents a research-based definition of student-centered learning and is based upon a year of work with RAND’s education team, who conducted a thorough review of literature and tools used to measure student-centered learning and consulted experts in the field. We hope this definition provides clarity about the innovative ways in which classrooms, schools, and districts approach student-centered learning.

Along with the Continuum, RAND and the Foundation are planning to release a toolkit to help schools and districts understand how student-centered learning is implemented in their communities. The toolkit will be comprised of six instruments — student, teacher, school leader, and district leader surveys; a teacher log; and a student focus group protocol — that provide an opportunity for educators and leaders to formatively assess and reflect upon the ways in which their learning environments integrate the tenets of student-centered learning.

Our hope is for the SCL Continuum to be a living document, updated over time based on the input of practitioners who are working to champion student-centered practices every day. After all, educators know best about cutting-edge practices and the context in which classrooms, schools and districts operate. We know that the large-scale implementation of student-centered practices cannot happen without a key set of clear, measurable, and testable principles. Ultimately, we see this set of criteria guiding schools and districts in their move towards re-envisioning teaching and learning.

We plan to release the SCL Continuum this winter, and hope you will provide feedback on it! Stay up to date by signing up for the Foundation’s monthly newsletter!

2020-2016

Testing Change Ideas in Real Time

Testing Change Ideas in Real Time

March 2020

This report summarizes the practices and findings of the pilot year of the Student-Centered Assessment Network (SCAN), which used real-time testing to determine effective and engaging classroom assessment practices for students. Data gathered through quality assessment can be used by teachers to support their students’ needs, as well as by students themselves to take ownership of their learning. This report covers some of the major shifts in classroom practice teachers saw as a result of participation in SCAN, as well as some of the challenges in shifting towards more student-centered assessment practices. The end of the report delves into some of the adjustments suggested refining future versions of the network

 

Formative assessment… it’s really powerful… you can see who is really prepared, who has the knowledge, or is motivated… You can set up your instruction in a better, more efficient way.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Nominations are Now Open for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Teacher Leadership Awards!

Posted by Chiara Wegener

 

We all know that teachers are amazing people — after all, they are the ones shaping the minds of our future world leaders!

At the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we’ve had the chance to see the impact of many individual educators, but have also seen the powerful force of teachers working together and advocating for innovation outside of their individual classrooms. Our O’Toole Awards are meant to recognize those educators who have not only led innovations in their own classrooms but have served as leaders, advocates, and champions for equitable, student-centered approaches to learning at scale. Last year, we honored 12 amazing educators from across the region who are doing things like serving as student-centered coaches, leading professional learning series, and creating video series around student-centered learning.

This year, we are again asking the public to nominate teacher leaders who are advocates for student-centered approaches to learning. We’ve also been doing some work internally at Nellie Mae to learn about the ways that student-centered approaches to learning can address inequities in education. This has been part of a bigger process at the foundation to assess our organizational strategy through the lens of racial equity. So this year, we are also asking teachers how they are addressing inequities, including racial inequities, through their advocacy of student-centered approaches.

From now until April 27th, we’re accepting nominations for our Lawrence W. O’Toole Teacher Leadership Awards. We’ll select up to 12 winners from across New England to receive grants of $15,000 each to use to advance student-centered approaches to learning at scale. Award recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony in Boston on November 2nd. To nominate a teacher (even if it’s yourself!) read more about the process here.

BLOG

Learning Resources During COVID-19

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

· 18 Digital Tools and Strategies That Support Students’ Reading and WritingIn this article, the Instructional Technology Specialist from Littleton, Colorado offers a wealth of education technology resources related to literacy development. Educators and students will be particularly interested in the links to specific digital resources. These are presented in sections that correspond to specific literacy skills such as pre-writing, reading, and evaluation.

 

· 4 Questions to Ask About Multimedia ContentThis short article provides advice on selecting the best multimedia resources.

 

· Digital Learning Day ResourcesTo help support digital learning throughout the year, this website offers several useful resources which include: A list of free digital tools to support classroom activities, interactive lesson plans submitted by teachers, and links to a large number of resource databases to find more tools and lessons.

 

· How to Move From Digital Substitution to Deeper LearningThis podcast features a discussion of how teachers can ensure they are using technology to support deeper learning and move to more student-centered teaching practices. The guest focuses on practical suggestions and examples for teachers to put to work in the classroom.

 

· Center on Technology and Disability (CTD)The CTD is designed to increase the capacity of families and providers to advocate for, acquire, and implement effective assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) practices, devices, and services. This website features free professional development and resources such as articles, recorded webinars, online modules, and more.

 

· From Hotspots to School Bus Wi-Fi, Districts Seek Out Solutions to ‘Homework GapThis article discusses possible ways to address disparities in access to high-speed internet connections in the home. It offers school, district, and community leaders facing such problems ideas from other districts, such as advertising community location with high-speed access or providing wi-fi on buses.

 

· Equity by Design in Learning TechnologiesThis report looks at equity in regards to access to and application of new technologies that support learning. It outlines the challenges and explores how learning technologies can provide the greatest benefits for the most vulnerable learners. This podcast provides more information on the report.

 

· How Giving Students Feedback Through Video Instead of Text Can Foster Better UnderstandingThis article describes how several teachers have shifted from providing written to video feedback for students. Ongoing feedback is an important part of formative assessment. This piece looks at the advantages of using video to deliver this feedback and provides links to websites and tools for teachers who would like to get started.

 

· How Podcasts Can Improve LiteracyThis article, written by a veteran educator, describes how podcasts can be used as a strategy to boost literacy in any subject, especially for English Language Learners.

 

· Learning Accelerator’s Practices at Work: Blended & Personalized Learning: The Blended and Personalized Learning Practices at Worksitemanaged by The Learning Accelerator, is a collection of free, practical strategies and resources to help schools implement blended and personalized learning. The website is divided into sections that explore the basics of blended learning, provide real-world examples, and detail strategies to support implementation.

 

· KQED Teach Online CoursesKQED Teach offers free online courses on a variety of digital products and tools that can be used to enhance learning. The courses begin with Foundations in Media, which introduces the key digital media literacy concepts. Subsequent courses focus on one digital tool or product with overview modules/lessons, which should take between two and three hours to complete, as well as modules to share lessons learned after using the tool in the classroom.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Update from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation on COVID-19 Response

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

Dear Grantee Partners, Friends, and Community:

We know that many of you are providing direct support to educators, community members, young people and their families as they navigate this pandemic and the inequities that only become exacerbated in such a situation. As a philanthropic organization, we remain steadfast in upholding our responsibility to support New England communities during this challenging time.

Today, we want to share some updates around additional flexibility for current grantee partners, and also share an update on some new funding commitments we have made as part of our ongoing COVID-19 response.

 

Extending Flexibility

As a follow up to the note we shared about changes in the Foundation’s operations and grant expectations, we hope the following measures will lift some of the burdens from our current grantee partners during this unprecedented time, especially for organizations that are in need of additional supports to maintain and sustain themselves during this difficult time.

We are now offering grantee partners the opportunity to convert any restricted funds to general operating support or to support work around COVID-19 response, to the extent that it is helpful to your organization.

We’re providing the option to request payments earlier than scheduled.

We can provide a no-cost grant extension for your grant if needed.

In lieu of an extensive final report, we welcome a brief final report that includes a spending report and describes how your funds were used.

If you are interested in pursuing any of the above opportunities, please reach out to your Program Officer to communicate your intent, including your most current spend-to-date report so that we can better organize ourselves to support you. We will also be doing our part to reach out to you in the near future to determine how else we may be of service. In the meantime, we are available as needed to provide support as you continue to navigate these challenging times.

 

COVID-19 Response

As an organization committed to advancing racial equity, we recognize that communities of color are disproportionately affected by this virus and the racism that stems from it. We have been humbled by the response to our Racism is a Virus Too Rapid Response Fund and were reminded that there is so much work to be done on many fronts to fight racism, xenophobia, and Sinophobia.

Today, we are announcing a set of grantees from this fund, aimed at responding to the hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities resulting from COVID-19:

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education, (Providence RI): $15,000

Asian-American Research Workshop (Boston, MA): $6,000

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (Boston, MA): $15,000

Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (Lowell, MA): $15,000

Chinese Culture Connection (Malden, MA): $10,000

Chinese Progressive Association (Boston, MA): $13,500

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, (Burlington, VT): $2,500

Facing History and Ourselves (Boston, MA): $7,500

Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (Augusta, ME): $15,000

Human Rights Commission (Montpelier, VT): $5,000

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (New York, NY but doing work in New England): $14,000

Portland Public Schools, (Portland, ME): $14,889

Refugee Development Center (Providence, RI): $10,000

The Right to Immigration Institute (Waltham, MA): $7,500

The Root Social Justice Center (Brattleboro, VT): $1,000

SISTA Fire, (Providence, RI): $15,000

Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts (Worcester, MA): $15,000

Urban Community Alliance (New Haven, CT): $12,250

Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Boston, MA): $15,000

 

Additionally, we want to share an update on another set of grants we are making to support New England communities during this pandemic:

Boston COVID-19 Response Fund, The Boston Foundation: $25,000

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving COVID-19 Response Fund: $30,000

Maine Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund: $50,000

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Community Crisis Action Fund: $50,000

Rhode Island Foundation/United Way of RI COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

• Supporting Organizing Work Connecticut COVID-19 Response Fund, CT Council on Philanthropy: $30,000

Vermont Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

 

We invite others who are interested in contributing to these funds and organizations to reach out to us to learn more.

This crisis calls upon us to think about the world we want to build as we move ahead. For us, that means remaining committed to serving our communities as trusted partners in advancing racial equity throughout this region. We recognize that the impacts of this pandemic will be long-lasting; therefore, we are on this journey for the long haul.

We are keeping you in our hearts and are grateful for your partnership.

 

In solidarity,

Nick Donohue
President & CEO
Nellie Mae Education Foundation

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Introducing Our New Community Advisory

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

In January, we announced our new strategy to make advancing racial equity in public education the central focus of our grantmaking. Today, we are excited to share another important development — the onboarding of our new Community Advisory.

We are tremendously grateful to our inaugural Community Advisory, whose contributions last year guided the development of our new grantmaking strategy. As philanthropy seeks to address longstanding inequities that have only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that voices from New England communities continue to be involved in foundation decision-making. This year’s cohort, again consisting of individuals who have deep relationships in the communities they represent, will work with our staff and Board to provide perspective and guidance as we implement our new strategy.

Collaborating with this talented array of partners will help ensure that community insights are consistently part of all the work we pursue. We will continue to ask ourselves how our work will ensure that affected communities are driving change. We are grateful and better as a Foundation for the partnership of our Community Advisors in defining our path ahead.

 


 

We hope you will join us in welcoming the following members to our new Community Advisory, and we look forward to keeping you updated on our work together.

Grace is the Executive Director for Communications and Community Partnerships for Portland Public Schools. In this role, she oversees the district’s work on family engagement, youth development, and partnerships with community-based organizations. She is an educator with a specialization in English Language Learner education, immigrant education and has international experience with non-governmental agencies specializing in refugee work. She is passionate about multi-racial and cross-class coalition centering people of color in leadership to achieve social and racial justice.

Ina is a Program Coordinator at WEE. She previously worked at the Attorney General’s Office as a Program Coordinator for the Safe Neighborhood Initiative and later as a Legislative Aide for the State Rep Marie St. Fleur. After working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Ina moved on to the private sector and worked at Pearson Education where her last position was Inventory Analyst.

Olga is the Executive Director of Women Encouraging Empowerment (WEE) located in Revere, Massachusetts. Olga helped launch the Revere Education Justice Alliance (REJA) and was one of the first immigrant women to serve in a leadership role on Revere High School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). She is an alumnus of Revere Public Schools’ Parent Leadership Training Institute.

Manuel is the Head of School at the Cambridge Street Upper School. He has over 30 years of experience working as an educator in numerous communities in Massachusetts including Boston and Taunton. Manuel views himself as not only a school leader, but also a leader in anti-racist work.

Mario is the Chief of Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director of Social Emotional Learning at UP Education Network, also in Massachusetts, and the Director of School Climate and Culture for Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut.

Marquis is the Founder and Executive Director of Elevated Thought, a creative arts youth organizing group in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he has deep roots. He holds a master’s in education and previously taught in Revere and Boston, and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership at Northeastern University.

Helen is a student in Lawrence Public Schools and a youth member of Elevated Thought, a creative arts youth organizing group in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Milagros is a high school junior in Lawrence Public Schools and a youth member of Elevated Thought, a creative arts youth organizing group in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She is also a member of her high school’s Student Government Association and a winner of the Citizenship Award and the “Be Kind, Be Humble” Award. After high school, she plans to major in the health sciences.

Michele is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy. She is also Director and Co-founder for New Hampshire Listens to the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Her work on and off-campus is focused on inclusive civic engagement, community problem-solving, and building coalitions for community-initiated change efforts. She works to bring people together across perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and create equitable solutions for their communities.

Sarah is Executive Director of Granite State Organizing Project. She has over twenty years’ organizing experience and is highly engaged in grassroots work. She also founded Young Organizers United (YOU), a group of high schoolers from various backgrounds who are dedicated to strengthening multi-issue and multi-racial coalitions designed to overcome disparate treatment in high schools.

Amaka is a youth empowerment coordinator for Manchester Public Schools, focused on centering youth voices and creating space for intergenerational dialogue and relationships. Additionally, she serves as a School Climate Specialist to provide support to middle school staff, students, and families. Ashley has over five years of teaching experience within the Manchester Public Schools. In addition, she organizes the district’s Youth Equity Squad. Ashley is dedicated to positively impacting many lives of all ages, especially the minds of the future. She thrives on serving others and creating a positive atmosphere.

Mohamed is a student in Manchester Public Schools and a member of Granite State Organizing Project’s Young Organizers United (YOU), a group of high schoolers from various backgrounds who are dedicated to strengthening multi-issue and multi-racial coalitions designed to overcome disparate treatment in high schools.

Julia is a high school junior in Manchester Public Schools and a primary leader and member of Granite State Organizing Project’s Young Organizers United (YOU), a group of high schoolers from various backgrounds who are dedicated to strengthening multi-issue and multi-racial coalitions designed to overcome disparate treatment in high schools. Julia’s goals after high school include attending college.

 


 

Tauheedah Jackson, Institute for Educational Leadership, Connecticut

Tauheeda serves as the deputy director for IEL’s Coalition for Community Schools, where she is responsible for engaging local communities and supervising the programs, logistics, and daily operations of the Coalition. She brings nearly 20 years of experience working in youth development, local government, philanthropy, school districts and out-of-school time programs.

 

Chanda WomackARISE, Rhode Island

Chanda is the Founding Executive Director of Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) located in Providence, Rhode Island. She was recently recognized as Studio 10 and Providence Monthly’s Who to Watch in 2020. She was also the recipient of the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award, the YWCA’s Women in Achievement Award and the Providence Youth Student Movement POWER Award.

 

Jeny DanielsARISE, Rhode Island

Jeny is a youth leader at ARISE and class president at her school. She also participates in outdoor track and field, theater, and orchestra. Jeny enjoys these activities because she can make a difference and express herself.

 

Krisnu ChuonARISE, Rhode Island

Krisnu is a youth leader at ARISE. They are also a volunteer at their school library, Cranston Central Public Library, and Miriam Hospital.

Karla is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Equity Institute where she oversees the organization’s creative vision and leads strategic initiatives that focus on developing equitable policies and practices. In her previous roles, she has worked to develop frameworks and resources centered on equity, culturally responsive teaching, and personalized learning. Karla is also a strong advocate in her state and beyond voicing the importance of recruiting and retaining teachers of color. She is a Deeper Learning Equity Fellow and was recently selected as a Pahara NextGen Fellow, Winter 2020 Cohort.

 

Christine is a teacher at Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington, Vermont where she teaches sixth grade Social Studies. Christine aims to place relationships at the center of her work and is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and decolonizing education together with her colleagues in the school’s Diversity Working Group and students in Peer Leadership.

Infinite is a staff member of the Vermont Equity Project, which aims to deepen understanding across the state and among policymakers on how the state’s funding formula discussion needs to be linked to increasing quality education for all of Vermont’s students. Infinite was formerly responsible for the Lead Community Partner (LCP) work in Burlington and Winooski.

Judy is the Executive Director of Gedakina, a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England. Judy is a life-long award-winning educator who specializes in sharing indigenous knowledge with children and is also on the Board of Directors of OYATE and the Native American Scouting Association.

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Silence is Complicity

Posted by Nick Donohue

 

By Nick Donohue: President & CEO at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

 

At the time we’ve reached the unthinkable milestone of 100,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19, we’ve also witnessed the murders of too many Black Americans at the hands of violence and white supremacy: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Sean Read, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor. These are merely a few of the names of Black individuals that have died at the hands of racism — there are unfortunately many more that have gone unnoticed and unheard of by the public. Racism is a virus too.

The COVID-19 pandemic has just pulled back a curtain on the racial inequities that are foundational to our country. In Wisconsin and Michigan, the percentages of affected residents who were Black were more than twice as high as the proportion of Black people living in those states overall. Here in Massachusetts, the highest per capita rates of infection reside in working-class immigrant cities like Chelsea and Brockton, who both have high concentrations of people of color.

How our society moves forward depends on our ability to understand why these inequities exist, and the actions we take to address them. As Merlin Chowkawayun so rightly notes in an analysis of these statistics in the New England Journal of Medicine, “disparity figures without explanatory context can perpetuate harmful myths and misunderstandings that actually undermine the goal of eliminating health inequities.” False narratives around Black people being able to tolerate higher levels of pain, for example, date back to slavery. That explanatory context is something that white people love to sweep under the rug — the pervasiveness of whiteness and violence in our country.

COVID-19 is only uplifting what has been so ingrained in our nation’s history for decades — the constant state of violence against Black people — in our economy, our justice system, our health system, our education system.

As an organization, we wholeheartedly stand against anti-Black racism and are committed to ensuring that we can take the steps to become an anti-racist organization. We are committed to supporting our grantee partners who are on the front lines of racial equity work in public education, by supporting organizations led by and serving people of color through general operating support grants, and supporting community organizing groups that are working to ensure that young people of color have a seat at the table in educational decision-making, to name a few. As an organization, we will continue to do our own learning around white supremacy, our complicity in upholding this system as a philanthropic entity, and we will take action to dismantle it. As a white leader, I am committed to holding myself — and other white people — to do better.

White people must step up and take action, and hold each other accountable. It is our responsibility to examine how we are complicit in the spreading of this virus of racism, and how we benefit from it every day. Silence is complicity. This moment calls on us to reflect on the type of society we want to build and take action. Our future depends on it.

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No justice, no peace. Know justice, know peace.

Photo by Lorie Shaull, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

By Colleen Quint: Board Member at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and President & CEO of the Alfond Scholarship Fund in Maine

 

I have a confession: I pretty much stopped watching the news a few weeks ago. The daily litany of lies and self-congratulations, while we passed 100,000 dead from the pandemic, was just too much. A great day for the Dow, indeed.

And then George Floyd was killed, and I turned away again sickened by what I saw. I felt the range of emotions — sadness, shame, anger — and heard the cries for justice. And I looked away. It was just more than I felt I could take on, more than I wanted to deal with.

And that, my friends, is my White Privilege in action. I can look away and tell myself I feel their pain. I can tell myself I am sympathetic and understanding and supportive. I can say “I would never…” And my silence negates any of that self-congratulatory pablum. My silence is complicity.

What can I as a White woman from Maine say about this? What insight can I bring? The reality is, I cannot bring insight because I have no idea what it is like to be a Black or Brown person in America today. I can see it, I can read about it, I can talk with friends and even strangers of color….but I have not grown up with the daily drumbeat of racism and intolerance literally and figuratively beaten into me.

And as so often is the case, it matters less what you say than what you do. And what I can do is hold myself to account, to acknowledge my White Privilege and to listen and to learn. And I can call out racism when I see it. And I see it plenty. I see active racism in the ways we treated George Floyd and Christian Cooper. I see institutional racism in the ways we educate and incarcerate people of color and in the disproportionate and devastating impact of the pandemic on Black and Brown and Native communities. And I see casual racism in my own weariness and when I allowed myself to look away. As if it were not my fight. As if it were not my responsibility.

 

No justice, no peace. Know justice, know peace. Say. Their. Names.

2020-2016

Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning Toolkit

Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning Toolkit

June 2020

The Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning (MISCL) Toolkit is designed to help school practitioners or other stakeholders measure, understand and reflect upon the extent of student-centered learning (SCL) in high schools.

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This Moment Shows Us Why Philanthropy Should Reinvent Itself

Photo by Brooklyn Museum / CC BY, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

By: Dr. Gislaine N. Ngounou, Vice President of Strategy and Programs, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

 

Much of the philanthropic community is earning praise for its response to COVID-19. To date, funders across the country have provided over $10 billion in grants, prompting some to even dub the pandemic as philanthropy’s “shining moment.”

While it is encouraging to see many stepping up, foundations should use this experience to reflect on the strengths and shortfalls of our work, and how we can better wield our power and privilege to support communities in the future. COVID-19 is exacerbating inequities and rapidly harming people of color — especially Black people — who for centuries have been failed by our economic, education, and healthcare systems. As painful as the realities and data are, they are neither new nor shocking. We have seen this play out time and time again in the murder of Black people living in this country. Our systems are not broken; they are merely functioning as they were designed to operate — that is, privileging some while perpetually oppressing many. Racism has been the pandemic that Black people in America have endured for over 400 years.

 

Read the full article in Nonprofit Quarterly

BLOG

Race and Equity in the Time of COVID-19

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the racial inequities our country was built on, bringing to light how deeply systemic racism impacts our society at every level. At the same time, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others expose the fact that anti-Blackness and police brutality have not stopped during this pandemic. In this video, members of Nellie Mae’s community advisory group share the struggles their communities are facing during these dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism. They encourage us to think of how we can continue to build an anti-racist community, and how we as a foundation can support communities of color in this unprecedented time. We appreciate the time and effort they put into participating in this video, and are excited to amplify their work.

BLOG

“Huey’s Kites”

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

“Flying kites is such a simple act of freedom. The peacefulness, open field, endless sky and seemingly unlimited ways the kite can move or flow. And yet, this freedom isn’t afforded to everyone. A basic childhood (and adult) act never experienced, to me, is a metaphor for the basic human rights that have failed to be fully realized by Black people and communities of color due to the oppressive (intentionally so) structures in which we exist.

“What happens to society, communities, the world when there are no limitations for people to flourish; when the wind of their freedom can carry them wherever they want?” — Marquis Victor

This film was created by Elevated Thought Founder and Executive Director Marquis Victor and parts of it were featured in Nellie Mae’s Community Advisory Group’s “Race and Equity in the Time of COVID-19” video. We are excited to share “Huey’s Kites” in full here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Educators for Black Lives

Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action, Posted by Aharewood

 

I vividly recall the first time I led a conversation on race in my classroom. The conversation happened on Monday, February 27th, the day after Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman. At the time, I was a 22-year old resident in the Boston Teacher Residency program.

The conversation with my sixth-grade scholars happened just as schools were reopening from February vacation week. I had been in the program for seven months and had recently become the lead teacher for two classes of students.

Having this conversation with sixth graders was not something I had been trained to do. In fact, I had never imagined having this conversation. We discussed race in my teacher residency program, but facilitating a conversation centered on race with sixth-graders stemming from an incident involving police brutality isn’t one and the same.

At the time, my sixth graders and I were reading Maniac Magee, a fictional novel that explores the topic of racial segregation. In the week leading to February vacation, we had created a visual representation of the West and East Ends in this fictional town the protagonist frequently crossed and that separated the Black and White communities.

While we discussed racial segregation in the context of the novel and looked at the New York Times’ Mapping Segregation map in Boston, the discussion my mentor and I had prepared to have quickly made the themes of the novel so much more real.

As my enthusiastic sixth graders all clad in school uniform entered the classroom, we gathered in a circle, which was a contrast from the usual rows in the classroom. My mentor teacher and I both took deep breaths preparing to discuss the elephant in the room, and in many classrooms and communities across this country.

This was my first conversation with my students about Black lives being murdered. I was not okay, but I needed to make sure they were. It was my duty to make sure they were okay, not only because of my identity as an educator but also because of my identity as a Black woman.

We first asked students to jot down what they heard on the news and at home. They provided so many different tidbits and details of the story: “Black boy”, “iced tea”, “Skittles”, “murder”, “Florida”, “going home”, “hoodie”, “fight”, “gun”, “going to jail.”

From this initial entry point, we then discussed how they felt about the murder of Trayvon Martin. Some students shared they felt great sadness. Others expressed anger and fear. Many voiced worries for Trayvon’s family and friends. Lastly, students asserted a need for justice and fairness.

From this conversation, we were able to explore the themes in the text more fully. Without prompting, students rapidly connected the novel to the real world. They openly challenged the racism both in the text and in the real world. This first conversation was a defining moment in my teaching career; it transformed my teaching practice and strengthened my rapport with students. This conversation let my students know that I saw them, fully.

Unfortunately, I would go on to facilitate many similar conversations year after year — with the murders of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and Sandra Bland. And while I became more skilled at leading these conversations, they were never easy. The emotional weight, from my students and myself, of it all, always lingered.

I learned to center conversations about race and anti-Blackness into my school’s core texts through the use of questions like, “What does the reference of Othello to a “black sheep” or “Moor” reveal about racism and inclusion in Venice, Italy?” After all, how can you teach the themes in Othello without discussing race and anti-Blackness?

Still reflecting on this experience years later, I realize that although this conversation brought great fear and anxiety, it was absolutely necessary for the classroom. Students, like their educators, are watching the news and using social media. They are having these conversations at home. I am reminded that we need to have these conversations in classrooms regardless of how uncomfortable, afraid and emotionally naked we may feel. Not talking about race in classrooms further invalidates the real-world experiences of the Black community and Black youth.

As a former Black educator, I am incredibly proud and overjoyed to announce today that the Nellie Mae Education Foundation is launching a Rapid Response RFP that centers Black educators and those in service of Black lives inside and outside of their classrooms. I invite you to read more about the opportunity here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Reopening New England Schools

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

As New England communities grapple with what learning will look like in the fall, we’ve sponsored a series of conversations across the region that have invited families, educators, young people, health professionals, and others to discuss what equitable reopening will look like. We invite you to watch recordings of each of the conversations.

 

• Massachusetts: “The Digital Divide: Education, Race and Virtual Learning,” The Boston Globe

• New Hampshire:Live From Home: Navigating Back-to-School as a Family,” New Hampshire Public Radio

• Maine: “Reopening Schools: Maine Considers Complex Factors in How to Resume K-12 Schooling in the Fall,” Maine Public

• Rhode Island: “Reopening Rhode Island Schools,” Center for Youth and Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE), Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE), Latino Policy Institute (LPI), Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE), Youth in Action (YIA), Rhode Island Center for Justice

• Connecticut: “Connecticut Conversations: Is School Safe?” Connecticut Public

• Upcoming- Vermont: “School Reopening Forum,” Voices for Vermont’s Children (taking place August 26–28)

2020-2016

Better Math Teaching Network Year 2 publications

Better Math Teaching Network Year 2 publications

August 27, 2020

This collection of research reports focuses on the findings and data from the second year of the Better Math Teaching Network, including a summary of years one and two, a developmental report on year two, and lessons learned from year two. The reports highlight a continued high engagement level from teachers, increased opportunities for student engagement, continued deepening of student-centered instruction, and overall progress made towards the Better Math Teaching Network’s aim. In addition, the reports uplift the importance of experienced Network teachers as key to sharing the work of the network and accelerating the progress of newer Network teachers.

BLOG

Rest as Revolution

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde

 

Rest is an integral but often neglected aspect of any movement — sufficient rest rejuvenates our minds and bodies and allows us to bring our best selves to our work. We recognize that for many Black people, present, past, and intergenerational trauma is compounded as they are forced every day to deal with the hardships from systems that were built to oppress and marginalize them — from our education system to our housing system to our healthcare system and beyond.

Rest, and healing justice, are important parts of any movement, and we believe they are a critical part of racial justice work. As Prentis Hemphill, Director of Healing Justice at Black Lives Matter notes, “Healing justice means that we begin to value care, emotional labor, and resilience, not as add-ons but as central components of sustainability that restore us to life.”

Rest is revolution. It can restore, empower, heal, and cultivate joy.

That is why we are teaming up with Getaway and anti-racist educator Rachel Cargle, to lead the “A Year of Rest” campaign, which will offer in total 365 nights of rest to Black people working for change, and those fighting for the Black community in combating racism.

 

Getaway will provide their tiny cabin outposts as spaces to isolate, disconnect from work, and truly rest for those selected. Learn more about the “A Year of Rest” campaign and nominate someone today!

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Continuing to whitewash our public institutions will only harm our future prosperity as a nation

Posted by Nick Donohue

 

Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

 

This past week, Donald Trump directed federal agencies to eliminate anti-racism training examining white privilege and critical race theory, calling them “a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.” And just last month, he shared a two-point education platform for a potential second term. Half of it consisted of “Teach American Exceptionalism.” He briefly touched on the idea during his speech at the Republican National Convention, pledging to “fully restore patriotic education to our schools.” Just this past weekend, in a Sunday morning tweet, Trump claimed he’d be investigating and withdrawing funding from California schools that were using the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project— which explores how enslavement has shaped American political, social and economic institutions.

Continuing to whitewash our public institutions will only harm our future prosperity as a nation. In his direction to federal officials to ban anti-racism training, Trump is preventing us from achieving the ideals on which our democracy depends. Critical race theory, a framework developed by Derrick Bell and other notable scholars that examines how race and racism are perpetuated through existing legal and cultural systems, is a fundamental frame for examining how white supremacy has become the dominant culture in our society. Anti-racism training is not “un-American” as Trump touts — but deciding not to engage with our nation’s deep history of white supremacy certainly is.

As a white man who holds positions of power and privilege both in my personal life and in my career, I have firsthand experience diving into examinations of racism and the dominance of white culture. Engaging in anti-racism training has at times felt unpleasant, tedious, and tiresome. But that discomfort is unmatched by the pain that people of color in this nation experience on a daily basis.

In urging public schools to “teach American exceptionalism,” Trump paints an incomplete and misleading picture of history. This ideology harms our children and society. Many believe that our education system can transform people’s lives, with the potential to open doors of opportunity that were previously shut. But American exceptionalism, coded in language and policies that sustain a culture organized to maintain the dominance of white people, is the reason why public education has not lived up to its promise.

Through these cowardly actions, Trump is blatantly ignoring how systemic racism undergirds all of our public institutions. Distortions of liberty put forward in his vows to protect suburbs invoke policies like the G.I. bill and redlining, which barred Black Americans from homeownership. It brings us to our current moment — where law enforcement will murder Black people in their homes or on the street, but white killers draped in weapons are peacefully taken into custody— or even-handed water.

This is not the time to back away from exploring our nation’s true history and confronting white supremacy culture — one that falsely espouses a value of equality while persistently privileging those already so advantaged and oppressing Black people and others. This is not only about the activities of abhorrent fringe groups. It is about ignoring the unchecked assumptions that shape every aspect of our society.

And rather than retreat from facing these insidious pieces of our past and present, it’s time to ramp things up. Resistance to this work means there is a new level of consciousness about its impact — let’s take advantage of this opportunity!

At the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we are directing our grantmaking to efforts such as a fund dedicated to supporting nonprofits led by people of color, and another to Black educators leading conversations about race in their schools and communities. And we are looking ahead to supporting deeper attention by all of us — and white people in particular — to what is corrupting our collective spirit as a nation.

We must stay the course. Effective tools and resources that the President is trying to shelve only make this important work easier. It is not until we are able to confront our original sin as a nation founded on a bedrock of white supremacy culture that we will truly be able to “make America great.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Statement from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation on “Patriotic Education”

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation condemns any efforts by the federal government to silence curriculum and frameworks that explicitly address the centrality of enslavement in the historical narrative of our country. As an education funder, we believe that nurturing a democracy means committing courageous attention to our nation’s history in order to prepare for the future. Continuing to whitewash our public institutions perpetuates violence and injustices, and will only harm our future prosperity as a country. Actions by the federal government to develop commissions to promote “patriotic education,” and threats to defund schools that utilize projects such as the New York Time’s 1619 Project continue to harm and erase the histories and experiences of entire groups of people. This poses danger to our young people and the future of our nation. It is not until we are able to confront our original sin as a nation founded on a bedrock of white supremacy culture that we will truly be able to “make America great.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sharing Our Commitments

  Photo by Tim Dennell, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Over the course of this year, we’ve witnessed the deep inequities in our society laid bare by the two pandemics of COVID and systemic racism. We’ve seen how these forces have disproportionately negatively affected Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. As a philanthropic organization, we know we have a duty to use our power and privilege to do more to combat systemic, anti-Black racism, especially in our public education system. The truth is that the reality of this double pandemic has forced us to apply a magnifying glass to the deep inequities of our public education system and our society at large.

 

We cannot go on as business as usual. We know that we have continued work to do in ensuring that our internal culture and grantmaking practices are not reinforcing white supremacy culture. This requires being relentless in acting and putting our money where our values are. Our stated value of operating with a racial equity lens means that we must take necessary urgent action in this moment while planning for this work in the long haul.

Therefore, in addition to our planned grantmaking in 2020 and the early interventions taken at the beginning of the pandemic, we are today announcing an allocation of an additional $20M this year to support work addressing anti-Black racism and COVID relief, especially as both relate to our public education system. These grants are in addition to the more than $10M we are distributing this year as part of our previously adopted strategy.

It is evident that COVID and the fight against anti-Black racism will require the contributions of many organizations and individuals — therefore, we are increasing and expanding our support through a broad array of additional investments to communities, local, regional, and national organizations, and schools as they continue to do incredible work to address the needs faced by those they serve and represent.

We recognize that the fight for racial equity in public education is intrinsically connected to the fight against anti-Black racism. Through these additional investments, we are supporting the important work of organizations at multiple levels of the ecosystem working to fight for a more just and equitable future.

We recognize that our actions are just a step. We are actively exploring how we might use additional monies in the years to come. This means looking beyond traditional allocations to better show our long-term commitment to our values and mission: championing efforts that prioritize community goals that challenge racial inequities and advance excellent, student-centered education for all New England youth.

At this time,we are continuing to be in conversation with others as we grow in this work. At this time we are not accepting unsolicited proposals, but if you are interested in introducing your organization to us we invite you to fill out this form.

 

Grants will be made in support of the following organizations:

• The Movement For Black Lives ($2,500,000): To provide general operating support

• The Schott Foundation For Public Education ($2,250,000): To provide capacity building and operating support for work focused on racial equity

• Haymarket People’s Fund ($750,000): To provide capacity building and operating support for work focused on racial equity

• MA Immigrant COVID-19 Collaborative: ($750,000): To provide capacity building and operating support for work focused on racial equity

• African American Policy Forum ($750,000): To provide general operating support

• Center for Youth & Community Leadership In Education (CYCLE): ($600,000): To provide capacity building and operating support for work focused on racial equity

• Education for Liberation Network ($500,000): To provide general operating support

• Abolitionist Teaching Network ($500,000): To provide general operating support

• NAACP Empowerment Programs, Inc. ($500,000): To provide core support for their education programs

• Black Futures Lab ($500,000): To provide general operating support

• Black Lives Matter Boston ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• CT-CORE Organize Now! ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership ($100,000) (Waterbury, CT)

• Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) ($100,000) (New Haven, CT): To provide general operating support

• Diversity Talks (Providence, RI) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) (Lowell, MA) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• FaithActs for Education (Bridgeport, CT) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities, Inc. (AFCAMP) (Hartford, CT) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• Building One Community Corp (Stamford, CT) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• African Community Education Program (ACE) (Worcester, MA) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• SABURA (Brockton, MA) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• Brockton Interfaith (Brockton, MA) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• Progresso Latino (Central Falls, RI) ($100,000): To provide general operating support

• Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) ($175,000): To provide general operating support

 

A handful of these grants are to current grantees to expand their work around COVID and the fight against anti-Black racism:

• Students for Educational Justice (New Haven, CT) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Hearing Youth Voices (New London, CT) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Citywide Youth Coalition (New Haven, CT) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Blue Hills Civic Association (Hartford, CT) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Revere Youth in Action (Revere, MA) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Student Immigrant Movement (Massachusetts) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Worcester Youth Civics Union (Worcester, MA) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Maine Inside Out (Maine) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Portland Outright (Portland, ME) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• The Root Social Justice Center, Youth 4 Change (Brattleboro, VT) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

• Outright Vermont (Vermont) ($47,250): To provide general operating support

 

Additionally, we are currently working to support 10 New England school districts servicing communities with large numbers of Black and Brown children and their families that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. These grants will address the complex, interrelated problems posed by COVID-19 and anti-Black racism as schools reopen.

We know this is only one important part of how we can show up as funders at this time. We remain committed to learning, adapting, and improving; to showing up as allies working to combat anti-Blackness in our education system, using our platform and privilege to amplify the leadership of our partners, listening to those who are more proximate and directly connected to this work in communities, every day. We see you. We hear you. We stand with and behind those that live and breathe the realities and impact of this work daily.

We envision a future where all students have access to excellent and equitable public education that prepares them to succeed and thrive in community. Yet, we understand that for many young people, especially our Black, Brown, Indigenous and other students of color — this simply isn’t true. In the words of John Lewis, “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.” Let’s continue that “good trouble!”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Prioritizing Mental Wellnesss Amidst Virtual Learning

  Photo by Tim Dennell, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Prioritizing Mental Wellness Amidst Virtual Learning

As the two pandemics of COVID-19 and anti-Black racism rage on, young people across our region are faced with compounding burdens that are putting strains on their personal lives, well-being and educational experience.

As students ourselves, we know full well how the effects of isolation, nationwide protests around systemic racism and seeing the murders of more Black people at the hands of police, coupled with experiencing remote learning for the first time, and different family circumstances have had on our mental health.

We also recognize that remote learning is not the same experience for every student. Across our region, many students do not have reliable access to high-speed internet access, and many young people have had to take on the roles of caretaking or working to support their families, making it difficult to join remote classes or complete assignments on time.

We are proud to have collaborated with The Nellie Mae Education Foundation to design a youth-led rapid response grant fund aimed at supporting young people across the region with remote learning and mental health supports. We invite you to read the full Request for Proposals here.

 

Lydia Mann, Granite State Organizing Project

Mealaktey Sok, ARISE (Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education)

Niamiah Jefferson, ARISE (Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education)

PAST EVENTS The Boston Globe Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Are The Kids Really Alright?

Are The Kids Really Alright?

By Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Reopening Our Region’s Public Schools Amidst a Pandemic and Racial Reckoning

A year unlike any other, we’ve witnessed the deep inequities in our society laid bare by the two pandemics of COVID and systemic racism. During this session, Nick Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, will speak with community and school leaders from across the New England region about how school reopening is going, and what working towards a more equitable and just future for schooling in our region looks like. Join us for a conversation on November 5, 2020 at 10:OO AM with The Boston Globe.

BLOG

Our Work Continues

Posted on

 

 

Every Vote Counts | Nikkolas Smith (IG: @nikkolas_smith) | Commissioned by Culture Surge

 

Democracy has spoken — voters have selected new leaders to move us forward to a better future. It’s time we come together to ensure the will of the people prevails.

We know that our work to advance racial equity in our public education system continues. This year has been challenging for so many reasons. Many who have had the privilege of ignoring white supremacy in their everyday lives have now seen it laid bare through the double pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic, anti-Black racism — seeping through all aspects of our society — from our healthcare system to our schools and institutions of learning, to our democracy.

This election season, we’ve seen real threats to our system of public education. The current administration has sought to institute “patriotic education” that whitewashes and misleads our young people, ignoring calls for a more relevant curriculum that reflects their cultures and histories. At a time when COVID-19 is prompting overdue conversations about equitable access to education and supports for students, families, and educators in the era of virtual and hybrid learning, the Secretary of Education has tried to redirect CARES Act resources from public schools to private ones.

In the midst of a pandemic that has left more than 200,000 of our loved ones dead and created the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, we have turned out in record numbers to vote. Voters have faced deliberate barriers from long lines to attempts to eliminate drop-off locations.

Regardless, we have made our voices heard to pick new leaders who will care and govern for all of us. In fact, the number of early voters under 30 who were voting for the first time more than doubled from 2016. Our hope is that they are leading the way toward an America that truly lives up to its promise for everyone.

Now we will hold our new government to account — to not merely tackle the crises the last government created — but to make this a place where all of us can thrive, especially those that have been most harmed by our current systems and practices.

For the sake of our democracy; for the futures of our young people, we are marching on. For us, this means investing in our future by ensuring that all of our young people have access to an equitable and excellent, student-centered education that honors their individuality, culture and history. From recruiting and retaining educators of color to rethinking disciplinary practices to implementing anti-racist teaching and learning, to removing police from schools — let’s commit to ensuring our young people feel valued, known and supported in their growth and in exercising their gifts and power.

We remain committed to standing up and behind our partners in the fight against white supremacy and anti-Blackness, especially in our education system. We know that so many of you have been tirelessly working at this day in and day out. And while we celebrate the integrity of the vote-counting process across the country, we know the work is not done. We remain committed to fighting for a more just and equitable world and still envision a future where all children and youth have access to an equitable and excellent public education. The words of Ijeoma Oluo remind us, “This election doesn’t change the work we need to do, it just determines how much harder that work maybe.” The work continues.

2020-2016

Racial Equity and Student Centered Learning

Racial Equity and Student-Centered Learning: Applying a Community-Informed Racial Equity Lens to Student-Centered Learning

December 2020

This report examines how racial equity strategies and student-centered learning practices could be integrated to combat racism and racial inequities in education. It delves into racial equity issues as described by community stakeholders, exploring issues such as a lack of diversity in school staff, inequitable student disciplinary processes, and more.

The report then goes on to summarize themes in responses to the student-centered learning framework as a strategy for racial equity in education. Finally, the report concludes by summarizing the findings from Phase 1 of the Racial Equity and Student-Centered Learning Project and by setting up questions for Phase 2.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcoming New Team Members to the Foundation

  Photo by Tim Dennell, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Over the past year, Nellie Mae has grown our work in several ways, from the implementation of our new grant strategy focused on advancing racial equity in public education, to continuing to learn how to best serve as an engaged and supportive grantmaker. We have also expanded as a staff over these past several months and are excited to welcome five new team members who together bring a vast array of knowledge and experience to our organization.

Alex Toussaint, Senior Accountant

Alex Toussaint joined the Foundation in April 2020. Prior to joining Nellie Mae, Alex worked as an independent business consultant for small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals around business strategy and personal finance. He also has experience as an elementary school educator. Alex is passionate about promoting financial literacy, as well as educational justice.

Julita Bailey-Vasco, Senior Communications Manager

Julita Bailey-Vasco joined the Foundation in October 2020. Prior to her work at Nellie Mae, Julita worked at Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit that leads the workforce and education system in achieving economic advancement for all. Julita is committed to the work of an equitable education system in hopes of restoring a fraction of what has been stolen from Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color.

Michael G. Williams Jr., Program Officer

Michael G. Williams Jr. joined the Foundation in October 2020. Prior to his work at Nellie Mae, Michael worked at Duet, a non-profit that partners with the University of Southern New Hampshire to help students of color enroll in and complete degree programs. Michael brings a strong dedication to community-centered service; this commitment has led him to roles in community organizing, politics, and nonprofit case management and partnership development focused on helping young people achieve their educational and career goals.

Kathiana Amazan, Program Associate

Kathiana Amazan started at Nellie Mae in November 2020. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kathiana served as the Operations Coordinator for the Letters Foundation, an organization that provided one-time humanitarian grants to individuals experiencing hardship when no other options existed. A first-generation student and Boston Public Schools graduate, Kathiana believes all students should have access to equitable public education and opportunities to realize their full potential.

Lucas Codognolla, Senior Manager of Partnerships and Advocacy

Lucas Codognolla is joining the foundation at the end of December 2020. Prior to joining Nellie Mae, Lucas served as the founding Executive Director of Connecticut Students for a Dream (C4D), a youth-led, statewide network fighting for the rights of undocumented youth and their families. A community organizer at heart, Lucas is a relationship-builder and passionate about using his positionality to leverage resources for and with communities of color.

BLOG

Reflections and Hope

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

2020: a year unlike any other, plagued by a pandemic, death, job loss, evictions, and the continued murders of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. And at the same time, we have seen communities come together, respond with strength and love to demand and move forward through these momentous times.

This year, we’ve been reminded of just how fragile our social structures are — folding at the hands of a virus, disproportionally causing harm and suffering to Black, Brown and Indigenous people across our nation.

 

Educators have been thrust into crisis schooling, forced to completely change the way they engage and interact with young people.

 

With the closure, disruption, and under-resourcing of the country’s schools, more people woke up to what many have known for so long — that schools indeed are hubs for social supports: not only places to learn, but places where young people receive healthcare, nutrition, mental health supports, and allow caregivers to participate in the workforce. Educators have been thrust into crisis schooling, forced to completely change the way they engage and interact with young people.

At yet, despite the enormous challenges, so many educators have risen to the occasion — organizing and strategizing to creatively deliver content and learning experiences to their students, in spite of personal sacrifices they often have had to make. While we see many young people suffering from isolation, Zoom fatigue, hunger and much more, and we are also seeing accounts of young people who are finding comfort in home learning environments with less rigidity and the comfort to be themselves.

 

Returning to normal is not good enough, because normal was never enough.

 

It’s been a challenging year for so many reasons, but we know that returning to normal is not good enough. Because normal was never enough. But, we have hope: and here’s why. Our grantee partners across the region, coupled with so many others, remain hopeful, determined and set on ensuring that we leave this region — and this nation — better than we found it.

In Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city devastated by COVID-19, Gladys Vega and her team at La Collaborativa have worked tirelessly to ensure community members have the supports they need to get by. Young people at Connecticut groups Hearing Youth Voices, Students for Educational Justice, CT Students for a Dream and Citywide Youth Coalition were instrumental in pushing the state to become the first in the nation to require high schools provide courses on Black and Latinx studies. The Equity Institute in Rhode Island took a step further in diversifying the teaching pipeline in the state by launching their inaugural class of “EduLead Fellows” — teacher assistants and support professionals committed to obtaining a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification. The Movement for Black Lives has spearheaded protests and action that have led to police reforms across the nation and prompted corporations to take time to examine the structural racism within their organizations. And so many other partners have led important work around the region and nation to uproot structural racism in our education system and ensure equitable access to excellent, student-centered public education for all young people.

As we move into 2021, we look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with our grantee partners to ensure that all young people, especially young people of color, have access to an equitable and excellent public education. We know it won’t be easy, but because of so many of our partners — we have hope.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Continuing the fight against COVID-19 and systemic racism

  Photo by Tim Dennell, Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

In October, we announced $20 million in funds on top of our planned grantmaking for this year to support work addressing anti-Black racism and COVID relief — especially as both relate to our public education system. Today we are pleased to share that another set of organizations is receiving grants as part of that allocation.

Because of the collective effort required to fight COVID-19 and systemic racism, this year we have intentionally expanded and increased our support for organizations and individuals leading this work through a broad array of investments. The grant recipients we are announcing today represent multiple levels of our educational ecosystem, serving students, families, educators and community members both throughout New England and nationally. This includes community and youth-serving organizations directly supporting young people and families with mental health, mentoring and social and emotional learning; educator-serving organizations prioritizing virtual learning, culturally responsive practice, and wellbeing for adults (especially educators of color); and advocacy, policy and funder partners and intermediaries working closely with communities of color, and also doing antiracist work in white rural and suburban communities.

We are proud to stand behind and with such incredible leaders who are working to achieve a more just education system that lives up to its promise for all young people. We look forward to partnering with these organizations, and further exploring opportunities that continue our commitment to our mission and values: championing efforts that prioritize community goals that challenge racial inequities and advance excellent, student-centered education for all New England youth.

This year we have seen the pain and hardship inflicted by dual pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19. But we can also find inspiration and motivation from the communities driving us toward a better future as they address these issues — particularly young people who are mobilizing calls for justice here in New England and beyond.

You can read more about these organizations, and the grants they will receive to support their important work, below.

 


 

Community and Youth-Serving Organizations

  • North American Indian Center of Boston: ($100,000): To support their mission to empower the Native American community and improve the quality of life of Indigenous peoples
  • IllumiNative: ($90,000): To support their work to challenge negative narratives and ensure accurate and authentic portrayals of Native communities are present in pop culture and media
  • Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness: ($50,000): To support their mission to assist Native American residents with basic needs and educational expenses; provide opportunities for cultural and spiritual enrichment; advance public knowledge and understanding; and work toward racial equality by addressing inequities across the Commonwealth
  • Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe: ($100,000): To support their mission to preserve, promote, and protect the cultural, spiritual and economic well-being of tribal members, educate youth and promote awareness among the public about their tribal history and rights
  • National Indian Education Association: ($50,000): To support their work to advance culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians
  • UMass Boston Institute for New England Native American Studies: ($50,000): To support their work in response to the changing priorities of tribal communities as well as their programming and outreach efforts
  • Wabanaki Youth in Science: ($30,000): A program that provides Native youth an opportunity to understand their cultural heritage first-hand and learn ways to manage lands with a broader and more holistic understanding of environmental stewardship
  • Wabanaki Public Health: ($30,000): Wabanaki Public Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Tribal community members through connection, prevention and collaboration
  • National CARES Mentoring Movement: ($150,000): To support local chapters in their work to heal and transform the lives of impoverished Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish them
  • He Is Me Institute: ($50,000): To support the Institute’s “I AM King” Mentoring program in Boston, which is designed for men of color to facilitate activities that provide opportunities for boys of color to gain the social-emotional skills and language needed to manage their own lives and identities
  • Social Impact Center: ($50,000): To support the Center’s work to prevent and reduce the impact of violence by addressing immediate and basic needs such as housing, food, clothing and public safety for the disenfranchised residents of the City of Boston
  • Sisters Unchained: ($50,000): Founded in 2015, Sisters Unchained is a prison abolitionist organization in Boston dedicated to building community and power with young women affected by parental incarceration through radical education, healing, art, sisterhood and activism
  • Worcester Education Collaborative: ($30,000): The Worcester Education Collaborative is an independent advocacy and action organization that works to ensure students in Worcester’s public schools are given the opportunity to succeed at the highest possible level

 


 

Advocacy, Policy, Funder Partners, Intermediaries

  • Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP): ($150,000): To support DWP’s grant funds for addressing issues brought on by COVID-19 and supporting Indigenous communities working for transformative social change
  • Resist Foundation: ($150,000): Resist supports people’s movements for justice and liberation and distributes resources back to communities at the forefront of change while amplifying their stories of building a better world
  • Grantmakers for Girls of Color: ($100,000): A national funder collaborative that supports Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American girls in the United States — mobilizing philanthropic resources so Black girls and gender expansive youth of color can achieve equity and justice
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights: ($50,000): Lawyers for Civil Rights fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants through legal action, education, and advocacy in the Boston area
  • Drawing Democracy: ($50,000): Drawing Democracy brings together philanthropic partners to support Massachusetts grassroots leaders and organizations promoting a transparent and accountable redistricting process while empowering communities by creating fair voting districts
  • ACLU Local Chapters: ($50,000): The ACLU works in the courts to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States
  • Community Change Inc.: ($100,000): CCI offers public discussions, events, and workshops for antiracist learning and action
  • SURJ Education Fund: ($200,000): SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and work toward racial justice
  • GBH Educational Foundation: ($50,000): To support GBH in building tools, media and research to support educators and families in antiracist, equity-enhanced teaching and learning
  • Daily Kos Education Fund [Prism]: ($50,000): Prism is a BIPOC-led non-profit news outlet that centers the people, places, and issues currently underreported by national media. They are committed to producing journalism that treats Black, Indigenous and people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and other invisibilized groups as the experts on their own lived experiences

 


 

Educator-Serving Organizations

  • LearnLaunch: ($350,000): To support LearnLaunch’s work in Massachusetts to provide programs and services that are helping educators around Massachusetts build equitable remote learning opportunities
  • Highlander Institute: ($300,000): A non-profit organization based in Providence, RI that partners with communities to imagine and create more equitable, relevant and effective schools. Highlander works with schools and districts on effective change management, culturally responsive instruction, and now responses to COVID-19
  • LiberatEd: ($350,000): LiberatEd offers an antiracist approach to social and emotional learning and healing, which includes student, teacher and family and community engagement resources, as well as an educator training and coaching program
  • UnboundEd: ($350,000): UnboundEd is dedicated to empowering teachers by providing free, high-quality standards-aligned resources for the classroom, the opportunity for immersive training, and the option of support through their website offerings
  • The Teaching Lab: ($350,000): The Teaching Lab’s mission is to fundamentally shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning for educational equity. They envision a world where teachers and students thrive together in communities that enable lifelong learning and meaningful lives.
  • The Community Learning Collaborative: ($150,000): To support the Collaborative’s work in providing academic support during remote learning as well as enrichment and engagement opportunities before and after school, centered on affirming children’s culture and linguistic backgrounds

 

As we close out our year of grantmaking and continue to work responsibly position resources in communities and organizations that are doing good work at the intersection of public education, fighting anti-racism and responding to the needs elevated to the pandemic, we’re also excited to support the following organizations:

Strong Women, Strong Girls: ($25,000): Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) is a nonprofit organization championing the next generation of female leaders through our innovative, multi-generational mentoring programs. As we foster a strong female community, SWSG is building a brighter, broader future for all girls and women.

Cambridge Families of Color Coalition: ($30,000): The Cambridge Families of Color Coalition (CFCC) is a collective of Families and Students of Color working to uplift, empower, celebrate, and nurture our students and each other. Their work is rooted in racial, social, and economic equity. Our goal is to see Cambridge Public Schools be a place where Students of Color thrive academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and in spirit.

The Prosperity Foundation: ($150,000): The Prosperity Foundation (TPF) believes that by creating a participatory philanthropic vehicle focused on improving the lives of Connecticut’s Black communities.

Cambridge Community Foundation: ($50,000): The Cambridge Community Foundation serves as Cambridge’s local giving platform — built, funded, and guided by residents since 1916. They are a convener and catalysts for transformative change.

Boston Debate League: ($50,000): The Boston Debate League offers debate and argumentation programs for young people in Greater Boston, with a commitment to serving students of color and other students who have been denied these educational opportunities.

Maine-Wabanaki REACH: ($50,000): Wabanaki REACH is a cross-cultural collaboration that successfully supported the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Latinos for Education: ($150,000): The organization’s mission is to develop, place and connect essential Latino leaders in the education sector. We are building an ecosystem of Latino advocates by infusing Latino talent into positions of influence.

Education Reimagined: ($100,000): Education Reimagined is firmly committed to the creation of a racially just and equitable world where every child is loved, honored, and supported such that their boundless potential is unleashed.

Education Funder Strategy Group: ($200,000): The Education Funder Strategy Group (EFSG) is a learning community of leading foundations focused on education policy from early childhood to college and career readiness and success.

The Welcome Project: ($100,000): The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. Through programming that strengthens the capacity of immigrant youth, adults and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.

BLOG

Protecting Our Democracy

Posted by Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Today, runoff races in Georgia reminded us of what is possible when the extraordinary power of organizing and voting is exercised. However, those outcomes were met by the sobering reminder of the fragile state of democracy in our country. We want to acknowledge the pain and distress many of us are feeling today as White Nationalists sought to undermine our country’s democratic system through a violent insurrection. These actions are a result of the racist rhetoric of our current administration and an attempt to deny the voices of millions of Americans, especially Black Americans and other people of color. We at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation believe that public education is a cornerstone in upholding our democracy, and tonight, that democracy was threatened.

We also believe that today’s events are a reminder of the work we must continue to do, including changes to champion racial equity and social justice within our public education system. We condemn the violent actions of the mob that sought to undermine our democratic system and go against our nation’s shared value of allowing the American people to choose their leaders and ensure a peaceful transition of power.

2021-2022

Photo/Video Release Form

Photo/Video Release Form

Please download this form, fill out the required fields, sign, and date it. You can then take a picture of it and email it to Julita Bailey-Vasco, Senior Communications Manager at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation: jbailey-vasco@nmefoundation.org

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Hope for a Brighter Future

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash, Posted by Chiara Wegener

 

This new year has caused me to pause and reflect over the past 12 months. The events of the past year have made me even more aware of hope that I have for a brighter future for me, my family, and the youth that I have the honor of working with at Elevated Thought, an art and social justice organization based in Lawrence, MA.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

This past year has been shaped by a global health crisis, the prevalence of anti-Black racism, and an election plagued by misinformation and white supremacy. It has also emphasized that this world is fragile and its inhabitants are finite beings that often dance with the opportunity of embracing truth, yet ignore the love, justice, and morality that truth produces.

 

I know and believe at my very core, that my own child and every child, everywhere should have this opportunity; to love, to ask questions, to believe and disbelieve, to dream and experience those dreams coming true through each brushstroke.

 

I believe that every child should have an education where they can dream in the classroom, hug trees while walking in the woods, and be handed the world as an empty canvas to paint, all while being given the simple instructions of “just try your best”. I know and believe at my very core, that my own child and every child, everywhere should have this opportunity; to love, to ask questions, to believe and disbelieve, to dream and experience those dreams coming true through each brushstroke.

Yet the past four years have reminded me that not everyone wants this dream to come true. I’ve seen public funds re-directed to benefit the dominant caste in society; stretching the already gaping abyss of education inequality in this country. The presidential election in 2016 caused many to be taken aback by the direction our country chose to blatantly move towards. During this moment in time, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) was working with youth and parent organizers, led mostly by people of color, supporting people of color. To say that these community members were nervous about what the election meant for them and others who historically have been marginalized is an understatement.

Fortunately, NMEF chose to step into the urgency of the moment and provide rapid response grants to eleven grantee partners. Based on conversations with grantees, this blog post was written to challenge the philanthropic sector to decide whether to be spectators or participants in the work at hand. As NMEF’s work with grantee partners evolved so did the understanding of the importance of centering community voice in the work.

In early 2019, NMEF extended their table by creating a Community Advisory Group, of which I am a member largely composed of leaders of color closely connected to the communities the Foundation supports. And in January 2020 a new strategy was launched that brought to life a recently adopted racial equity lens, even as we were unaware of what was in store in the months ahead. Due to this new way of working, NMEF made significant changes in how it approached supporting racial equity in education.

There was intentionality about centering youth and leaning on community-based organizations closely connected to young people and their families. Supporting the work of these organizations has allowed for entering into conversations from the perspective of those most closely impacted by the historical inequities that youth of color have been subjected to in the current education system. The Foundation has been able to support organizations working on school discipline policies that over-criminalize youth of color, increasing the number of teachers of color, and implementing culturally relevant curricula, to name just a few.

 

When will this country understand that a larger collective reckoning is in order?

 

Yet alongside this great work, history continues to repeat itself. When will this country understand that a larger collective reckoning is in order? The next big revolution needs to plant its feet and pivot from this consuming sphere and turn to an evolution of consciousness, action, and care for each other. Though we are an incredibly adaptive species, we continuously fail to aggressively confront our innate desire for power and accumulation and our gnawing existential fear conjured by our capacity for perception and creation. This has led to long-held systems of purposeful oppression, subjugation, and manipulation of those few elements of existence we may be able to grasp as objective truths. Regardless of what we were doing before, we are faced with a now that is pressing on so many levels.

 

Young people have been especially equipped and adept at turning hope, love, and justice into definitive change and possibility.

 

For many of NMEF’s grantees, the growing support of the Foundation is tangible hope. Hope that has sprung alive informing the work our young people have done and continue to do. It is an example of philanthropy seeing where they operate and stepping down to serve in unison with brothers and sisters fighting for those few precious, abstract truths that can help lift humans from the chaos, find footing, look around and see the many possibilities of life, and develop ways others can experience that who might otherwise not. Young people have been specially equipped and adept at turning hope, love, and justice into definitive change and possibility.

As we are in the midst of a new year, I challenge the Foundation to continue doing their own internal equity work, all while externally not losing the focus, drive, or determination in centering youth and community-based organizations that are closely connected with youth and families. It is my desire for other philanthropies to take this moment to join NMEF in walking alongside their grantees in the fight for racial equity, as it will take collective action for change to take place in this country. And may we look back in 2025 and be able to see the hope that drove us to make our public education system a place where every child, not just hopes, but dreams — and sees those dreams come true.

By Marquis Victor, Founding Executive Director, Elevated Thought, and Community Advisor at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

PAST EVENTS #philanthropysowhite Nellie Mae Education Foundation NME

Ed Equity Talks Series: #PhilanthropySoWhite

Ed Equity Talks Series: #PhilanthropySoWhite

By Nellie Mae Ed. Fdn.

 

Join Nellie Mae on February 19, 2021, at 12 pm, ET for the next in our virtual Ed Equity Talks series, featuring Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth.

Two years ago, Villanueva moderated the first #PhilanthropySoWhite panel, which served as a call to action for white philanthropic leaders to support racial justice by changing their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Part two of this conversation will feature white philanthropic leaders speaking to other white leaders about their role and responsibility in dismantling white supremacy, reinforcing that the work cannot rest solely on BIPOC who most often lead these conversations.

Villanueva will be joined by: Nick Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation; John Palfrey, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Hilary Pennington, Executive Vice President of Programs at the Ford Foundation. Vanessa Daniel, Founder and Executive Director of the Groundswell Fund will offer an end session of reflection and response. We hope to see you there!