Giving Compass' Take:

• New Profit shares insights from their six-year-long education initiative undertaken with the help of several partners to lift up underserved students. 

• How can other funders use this information to guide future education undertakings? What could an intervention like this one mean for schools in your community? 

• Read lessons for philanthropists interested in funding education

At the end of 2018, New Profit wrapped up a six-year initiative called Reimagine Learning, which aimed to chart new pathways towards reaching the paramount goal of helping the most underserved students succeed in school and life.

Why did Reimagine Learning matter? Reimagine Learning represented an effort to build out new, nascent, and relatively untested ideas that nonetheless had, and still have, huge potential across the U.S. education system. The first key feature was bringing together formerly disparate communities—particularly those focused on serving students with learning differences and those focused on bringing social emotional learning to classrooms—to think about how much more aligned they are than competitive, and collaborate on solutions that could matter for all students. The second and related idea was that new advances in our understanding of behavioral neuroscience and how children learn needed to be brought out of academia and research institutions and into practice in classrooms and schools.

What did Reimagine Learning achieve? With partnership from our lead funder, the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, and our supporting funders, Poses Family Foundation, Oak Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, Reimagine Learning deployed $38 million to build a coalition of 700 education leaders and coordinate their activities in a few key ways:

  • Funding and advising 25 high-potential organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs that collectively serve over 7 million students to help them scale their innovations and enhance their organizational capacity and sustainability, with an eye toward helping them better address the needs of underserved students.
  • Driving practitioner-led federal and state policy advocacy to advance public policies that support the success of the most underserved students, including successfully advocating for key provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that reflected Reimagine Learning’s emphasis on personalized learning, equity, and access.
  • Developing proof points of districts and schools that are fundamentally transforming to better support all students, particularly the most underserved.

Read the full article about Reimagine Learning at New Profit.