Gates Foundation Awards Educational Grants During Last Quarter of 2013

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, Washington
(206) 709- 3100

November, 2013

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced numerous grants awarded to organizations that improve educational opportunities for the nation’s youth. The Gates foundation has partnered with educators, school leaders, and nonprofit organizations across the country that they believe can transform U.S. public education.

This quarter, there is a focus on the Common Core State Standard of learning, which have been adopted by more than 45 states. These standards which cover kindergarten through 12th grade, offer school districts a road map of the skills and concepts that young people need for college and career readiness. The Common Core, which focuses on real world literacy and mathematical skills, currently requires support around implementation. Many of the Gates partners are supporting students, educators and school leaders in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Foundation has also awarded grants to organizations that provide support for Charter Schools, increase teacher effectiveness, support, create and implement data driven tools, and increase opportunities for personalized and differentiated learning. Organizations that use innovation and technology to further student’s learning needs, are also recognized.

The following highlights are Grants that have been awarded under the College-Ready Education and the Postsecondary Success program areas:

Jefferson Parish Public School System, Harvey, Louisiana, $200,000 to support effective implementation of instructional reforms by aligning resources and developing knowledge that other districts can use.

Teach For America, New York, $400,000   to study whether feedback from students and/or trained classroom observers can lead to more effective teaching.

eSpark, Chicago, $99,400   to develop a solution that measures the effects of specific educational applications on student achievement and engagement.

Charter Board Partners, Washington, D.C., $500,187 to provide support to Charter Board Partners for expansion into Washington State .

NYSUT Education and Learning Trust, Latham, N.Y., $1.2 million  to support continued work on a differentiated teacher support and evaluation project in NY and RI districts.

School District of Philadelphia, $100,000 to support the development of a system-level strategic plan for personalized learning.

University of Washington Foundation, St. Louis, $1.7 million over 2 years   to provide support and oversight for the implementation of the College Ready compacts, as district and charter leaders work together to advance college ready strategies that benefit all students.

Seneca Family of Agencies, San Leandro, Calif., $199,990   to provide support to the Seneca Family of Agencies for the development of integrated systems of support for at-risk students in Washington State charter schools.

Colorado Legacy Foundation, Denver, $828,653 to support Colorado school districts in implementing and sustaining new educator evaluation systems and instructional strategies, with an emphasis on sustainability of the work and the central role of teachers leading in the design and use of resources and tools .

Fund For Public Schools, New York, $100,000 to create new approaches for evaluating and improving the efficacy of digital courseware as a means to produce more targeted products that more effectively meet schools’ needs.

Bellwether Education Partners, Sudbury, Mass., $1.9 million over 2 years to support CoreSpring, an initiative to build a bank of shared Common Core aligned formative item and assessment resources that assure improved discoverability, availability and interoperability.

The Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., $1.5 million over 15 months to support a group of school district leaders in their efforts to implement the Common Core standards.

Leading Educators, New Orleans, $3.5 million over 34 months   to support the expansion and refinement of a teacher leader development program that can increase academic achievement among low-income and minority students by building the capacity of school districts to enhance career opportunities for effective teachers.

Motion Math, San Francisco, $100,000 to create a pilot version of Reckon, an educational learning A/B platform that will correlate mobile math learning experiences to assessment outcomes, engagement metrics, and teacher and school profiles, structuring a rigorous, democratic ecosystem for teachers and developers of all sizes to continually improve individualized learning in the Common Core era.

Pennsylvania Business Council Education Foundation, Harrisburg, $ 262,003 to engage the Pennsylvania business community in support of improving college and career-readiness for Pennsylvania’s students.

Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C., $550,000 to support communications and policy efforts to build public understanding and implementation of the Common Core State Standards in states and districts.

BrightBytes, San Francisco, $330,781 to support the development of a web application that will allow teachers and vendors to run trials for online learning applications and ultimately make recommendations for school and district purchasing decisions.

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Boston, $250,000 to fund a study of Massachusetts’ current K-12 system and how it compares to public education systems in other states and nations that consistently achieve high levels of student performance.

New Schools of Chicago, $100,000 to support the eLearn Innovation Hub and foster the development and adoption of education technology products to increase access to personalized learning content, scale the use of innovative tools, and ensure that educators and entrepreneurs are working together to develop and utilize the best data-driven tools.

Silicon Valley Education Foundation, San Jose, Calif., $100,034 to support the Learning Innovation Hub that will bring together entrepreneurs, educators, researchers and investors to pilot innovative products that enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

North American Council for Online Learning, Vienna, VA., $100,000 to develop and distribute knowledge (e.g., technical assistance documents, policy briefs, blog posts) regarding competency-based education and personalized learning.

Common Sense Media, San Francisco, $100,098 to support the Graphite, a service designed to help K-12 educators discover, use, and share the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their students by providing unbiased ratings and insights from an active community of teachers.

Center for Education Reform, Washington, D.C., $250,000 to advance high quality charter policies.

CHIME Institute, Northridge, Calif., $49,531 over 9 months to support a feasibility study on the development and launch of an inclusive model charter school in Washington state.

Foundation for Excellence in Education, Tallahassee, Fla., $ 2 million over 8 months to support an outreach and public information project that builds support and understanding of the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments in states.

Mississippi First, Jackson, Miss., $98,223 to support high-quality charter schools in Mississippi.

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education, Washington, D.C., $501,580 over 2 years to give support to teachers in Kentucky to implement the Common Core standards confidently and effectively.

Stand for Children Leadership Center, Portland, Ore., $879,810 over 2 years to support a cohort of school district superintendents to advocate for improving teaching, learning, and results in Louisiana public schools.

WestEd, San Francisco, $378,500 over 19 months to support research in Personalized School Models to understand how and in what ways teachers use data from a variety of sources to inform their instructional practices.

Achievement First, New Haven, Conn., $837,355 to provide support to Achievement First in partnership with Mastery Charter Schools and Denver School of Science and Technology Public Schools to develop a shared Common Core aligned interim assessment.

Ideas 42, New York, $1.6 million over 33 months to support the design and testing of behavioral interventions within the financial aid system to improve student access and success, and demonstrate the value of those interventions to practitioners and policy-makers.

Judith Fenlon is the money and business resource coordinator for The Chronicle of Social Change

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Judith Fenlon
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Money & Business Editor for The Chronicle of Social Change