Gates Foundation Awards $1 Million for Greater Equity in Education R&D

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The University of Pittsburgh and Remake Learning have announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of an initiative to center the voices of educators and students of color in educational research and development efforts in western Pennsylvania.

With the goal of increasing equity in education R&D, the Shifting Power initiative will work to create a network of educators of color and learning scientists representing K-12 school districts, institutions of higher education, museums and other out-of-classroom learning organizations, education research organizations, and education technology providers. Network members will then work to generate more equitable learning opportunities through inclusive framing, processes, and structures that give African-American and Latinx educators a central role in the design, engagement, and creation of education projects.

The initiative also will support African-American and Latinx educators who are already using equitable models and practices as well as researchers who seek to better understand how to center justice and equity in their work.

"Educators who work with young people each and every day know what's working and what's not in learning spaces," said Allyce Pinchback-Johnson, Remake Learning's group lead for the initiative. "Yet it's often the questions of researchers that are prioritized in research and development projects that attempt to improve these spaces. By centering the voices of educators of color within the Remake Learning network and pairing them with local learning scientists, this project aims to upend this traditional power structure inherent in R&D processes."

"Shifting Power is an important undertaking that will center and uplift the voices, identities, power, and brilliance of black and Latinx educators," said Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, co-chair of the Remake Learning Council, and co-principal investigator for the grant. "Our network will ensure that they play a leading role in the educational innovations that improve the spaces where our young people learn."