San Francisco-based GreatSchools has announced grants totaling $20 million from three of the nation's leading education foundations to help low- and moderate-income parents guide their children to graduate from high school ready for college.
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates, Robertson, and Walton Family foundations, the pre-K-12 initiative will use the Internet and other social media technologies to deliver free content and a peer-to-peer network to help parents connect with one another, find the right schools for their children, share experiences and advice, and get answers to parenting questions.
The program, which will work to register more than one million parents by 2012, is targeting families with children who are at particular risk of graduating from high school without the academic preparation required to succeed in college. According to a recent report published in Inside Higher Education, the latest generation of adults in the United States may be the first not to attain higher levels of education than previous generations, with Latino and African-American males most at risk.
"We're launching a movement to improve education in America, and parent involvement is the number one priority," said GreatSchools founder and president Bill Jackson, who is a former teacher. "GreatSchools will leverage the technology of our times to reach the parents most in need, building the skill and knowledge they need to ensure that their kids graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college."