Next Generation Learning Challenges: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) network places educators at the helm of educational change. This organization has created networks of teachers who conduct research and disseminate results to colleagues, communities and policymakers.

IP TAKE: Backed by several prominent foundations, the Next Generation Learning Challenges organization places educators at the helm of educational change and supports teacher-led innovation and reform. Funded projects are conducted collaboratively, and results are disseminated through NGLC. Past funding has been organized around geographic areas that share educational challenges. Applicants should identify a relevant initiative and contact the appropriate program officer through the organization’s website.

PROFILE: Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) is a consortium of educators working to meet the most pressing challenges in public education. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the organization was founded in 2010 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and others. Founded on the idea that educators should “lead the transformation to next gen learning, because they are the closest to the student and the learning,” this organization prioritizes equity, school design, community building, assessment reform, professional development, technology and enabling change. Its grantmaking program is organized regionally, with programs operating in Chicago, Illinois; Colorado; Washington, DC; New Orleans, Louisiana; Massachusetts, New England and Oakland, California. The organization also funds projects at “breakthrough schools” in other areas and studies of the role of assessment in educational reform.

Each of NGLC’s funding programs takes the needs of schools in its geographic area as central to the initiative. For the New England program, for example, educators have focused on the personalization of learning and the shifting role of teachers from providers to facilitators of knowledge as a means of closing achievement gaps and promoting equity for all students. As part of this initiative, twenty schools in the states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont were selected to receive funding for technology and comprehensive support from NGLC coaches. At the project’s conclusion, educators shared their findings with practitioners in other schools, with their communities and with educational policymakers. Other regional programs have focused on the development of meaningful assessment and the integration of community players in the development of new curriculum models.

Profiles of NGLC’s grantees and their projects are available on the organization’s website. All funded projects are conducted collaboratively with NGLC and become part of the organization’s growing body of knowledge about educational change.

Potential grant applicants should read about each funding area and its priorities on the active grants page and contact the appropriate program officer. The NGLC newsletter informs potential applicants and others of changing initiatives and opportunities.

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