The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants totaling $92 million in support of efforts to help middle schools and high schools identify and solve common problems and refine best practices aimed at ensuring students are on track to graduate.
Inaugural grants awarded through the foundation's Networks for School Improvement initiative — part of a five-year, $1.7 billion education initiative announced in October 2017 — will fund nineteen nonprofits, school districts, and partnerships committed to using evidence-based interventions and continuous data-driven learning to improve student achievement. With the funding, schools will use data to identify a problem, select a strategy to address the problem, establish targets for improvement, and iterate to make the strategy more effective in the future.
Located in thirteen states, grant recipients include Baltimore City Public Schools, which will focus on improving on-track outcomes in the eighth and ninth grades, with a focus on literacy; City Year and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University's School of Education, which will partner with school and district leaders serving predominantly African-American, Latino, and low-income students in high-need schools to identify the structures, practices, and support systems students need to complete eighth grade and stay on track to graduate from high school; the KIPP Foundation, which will work to improve and refine the approach college counselors use at KIPP high schools in sixteen states; and the Northwest Regional Education Service District in Oregon, whose Deeper Learning and Equity Network will work to increase the number of students who are on track by the end of ninth grade to graduate from high school through a continuous improvement process focused on deeper learning and culturally sustaining pedagogies.
"Students thrive when educators work together to use research and data to identify, address, and solve common problems," said Bob Hughes, director of the Gates Foundation's K-12 Education program. "We're excited to build on efforts already happening in many schools to help more educators work together in their local context to improve student outcomes."
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