It’s no $103 million, but the new nonprofit organization The Learning Accelerator, which supports the implementation of blended learning in school districts, announced this week that they have landed a cool $750,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The nonprofit’s mission is to transform K-12 education by implementing high-quality blended learning in school districts throughout the U.S. and by assisting schools who have faced challenges in developing blended learning programs. “While many schools are investigating blended learning, and service providers are emerging to offer some of the required elements, these efforts are fragmented, slow, expensive, and risky,” The Learning Accelerator’s mission statement reads. “We aim to overcome these challenges by helping districts develop robust blended learning plans while simultaneously cultivating and funding the supporting ecosystem.”
How will The Learning Accelerator achieve these goals? According to a press release, they will work as part investor and part architect in order to address the challenges schools face in adopting blended learning programs. They plan to fund districts in order to help them get better services with lower costs, work with companies and other service providers to increase standardization and improve system-level performance, and share information with districts to increase understanding of blended learning and standardize the process.
“This early stage funding ensures the effective launch of The Learning Accelerator and the implementation of all aspects of our program over the coming year,” said Scott Ellis, CEO of The Learning Accelerator. “We appreciate the Gates Foundation’s support for our mission to make it possible for every student in the nation to benefit from blended learning: learning at their own pace and with personalized content.”
The nonprofit has a lofty goal of mobilizing $100 million over the next five years in order to accelerate the implementation of blended learning throughout school districts.
“We have a specific job to do and we will ensure that our impact is sustainable
for the long term,” said board member Gisele Huff. “Once the ecosystem has been strengthened, the implementation of blended learning has been accelerated, and a robust district proof points have been established, The Learning Accelerator will have achieved its objectives.”