April 13th, 2017 (Boston)– New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that helps bold problem solvers break through to transform lives, communities, and systems, has announced it will launch the Personalized Learning Initiative. The initiative is supported by a collaboration between the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who have contributed $12 million over four years for the Personalized Learning Initiative.
“We believe that investing in and catalyzing the personalized learning field can lead to bigger breakthroughs in education,” said New Profit Partner Trevor Brown, who will lead the initiative. “We are excited to be working with a visionary group of social entrepreneurs and funding partners to take bold steps in the direction of meeting every student’s needs, no matter their background or learning style.”
The Personalized Learning Initiative is an effort to invest in promising new approaches and technologies that can give students more agency in their own learning journey and provide teachers with tools to tailor classroom instruction to the unique needs of each student.
The Initiative draws on New Profit’s core capacity building approach of providing unrestricted capital and strategic support to help social entrepreneurs and organizations break through to create impact at scale. A variety of new and emerging models rising in the young personalized learning field will be supported by the Initiative. These models include on-the-ground school models implementing a personalized learning curriculum in classrooms; tools and platforms for teachers, parents, and students to adopt for more individualized supports; technical assistance that provides deep implementation support for schools and district; policy and advocacy efforts for best practices in personalized learning; and knowledge dissemination and network connections of learnings for the overall field.
As part of this four-year Initiative, the seven selected organizations will each receive an unrestricted grant of $1 million. A New Profit partner will take a seat on the organization’s board of directors to be a strategic advisor to the CEO and leadership team on capacity building, growth and impact strategic planning, governance and leadership team development, revenue model optimization, partnership strategy development, and public engagement.
The seven organizations will also be kickstarting a Learning Community to share insight across different models and practices and partner to accelerate the overall development of the field. Current New Profit grantee-partners in personalized learning, such as LEAP Innovations (led by Phyllis Lockett), New Classrooms (led by Joel Rose), and Enlearn (led by Zoran Popovic), will join the Learning Community to provide insight and engage with the leaders of the new grantee-partner organizations.
The seven social entrepreneurs in the Personalized Learning Initiative include:
- Highlander Institute, Dana Borrelli-Murray and Shawn Rubin
- imBlaze (Big Picture Learning), Andrew Frishman and Carlos Moreno
- iNACOL, Susan Patrick
- PowerMyLearning, Elisabeth Stock
- The Learning Accelerator, Beth Rabbitt
- Transcend, Jeff Wetzler and Aylon Samouha
- Valor Collegiate Academies, Todd Dickson