In a time of rapid change, educators, students and parents are calling for solutions that break through old boundaries and profoundly improve outcomes, especially for Black, Latino and low-income children. The need to equip students for the future, to thrive in a complex world, has always been vital, but takes on a new urgency today. We’re seeing innovators creating tools and solutions that can power new levels of student success. They’re working hand-in-hand with educators and school leaders who are both building new school models and reinventing existing ones. To meet this moment, we’ve created a new investment area, called Learning Solutions, that brings together our previous portfolios in ed tech and model providers. We will support early-stage innovators with ideas that can accelerate student growth and equitable outcomes, along a spectrum of solutions that includes:
- Supplemental Tools that seamlessly enhance teaching and learning, including education technology
- Core instructional approaches that provide curriculum and assessments, along with teacher supports, enabling educators and schools to reimagine an entire subject area
- Whole-school models that partner with schools to provide integrated tools and resources, along with implementation support, to help educators reimagine learning
If you’re an early-stage organization-builder working to advance these goals, we want to partner with you and enable your concept to come to fruition. And because diversity matters, we’re especially interested in connecting with Black and Latino innovators. We believe the moment is right to explore ideas that will integrate whole-school visions and the learning tools that power them — and that these visions must be informed by the needs of parents and students. These learning solutions will break the mold on how to offer high-quality learning to each and every student, while advancing crucial aims like a focus on literacy and on social-emotional wellness. They may be high-, low-, or no-tech. Because the when, where, and how may vary, but the why doesn’t.
Venture leaders who identify as Black or Latino
Growth in student reach since NewSchools’ investment
Supplemental tools with evidence of positive student outcomes
Schools implementing models with fidelity
Learning Solutions Ventures
Entrepreneur: Chavaughn Brown, Anne Malone
Appletree is committed to closing the achievement gap before children get to Kindergarten. Through its early learning model, Every Child Ready (ECR), AppleTree provides three- and four-year-old students with social, emotional and cognitive foundation. The model supports schools with curriculum, professional learning and assessments and an overall opportunity to expand into pre-K. Today, ECR is delivered to 22 charter schools in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Entrepreneur: Michelle Brown, Kara Pacos, Rob Adams, Rob Fleisher
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
CommonLit is a non-profit organization that plans to bolster its current offering by combining curriculum, instructional coaching, formative assessments, interim assessments, and a technology platform into a coherent English Language Arts (ELA) model. Taken together, these will comprise a full literacy model serving grades 3-12 that schools and districts can adopt as their core ELA offering.
Entrepreneur: Ben Grimley
For-profit | Founded: 2013 | Visit the Site
Speak Agent was part of the English Language Learning Ed Tech Challenge. Funds supported Speak Agent’s online learning platform that addresses the ELL achievement gap by providing interactive, grade-appropriate lessons with audiovisual supports.
Entrepreneur: Trish Dziko, Heather Lechner
TAF is a 22-year-old organization with a mission to equip students of color for success in college and life through the power of STEM education. TAF created STEMbyTAF: an emerging model provider with plans to partner with schools in Washington State integrating best-practices in equity, STEM integration, interdisciplinary PBL, edtech, and college and career readiness.
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