The goal of our strategy is simple – far more students graduating from high school ready to succeed in college and careers. Currently, almost 80% of high school students are graduating on time, but only about 25% are academically ready for college – and that number is even lower for low-income and minority students.
If the United States is to succeed economically in a knowledge-based world, our students need to have real opportunity. They need to succeed if we are to succeed, and that’s why the foundation invests nearly $400 million annually in education in the United States.
Some of the work we do is “evolutionary,” designed to make the existing system work better for students and teachers. Some of it is more “revolutionary,” meant to take advantage of new technologies and new school designs to help students and teachers go further faster. Our investments are focused in:
Teaching – ensuring every student has access to effective teaching by rethinking how teachers are hired, developed, evaluated, recognized, and retained, and by working with teachers to improve practice
Learning – providing teachers and students with classroom materials and resources designed to get students ready for college and the supports needed to teach the Common Core State Standards.
Innovation – blending in-person and technology-enabled instruction to personalize learning for students and teachers to dramatically improve student results.
We’re incredibly excited about the momentum to improve education in the U.S., including the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards, new teacher development and evaluation systems, and of the promise of personalized learning and other technology-enabled solutions such as innovative professional development for teachers. But we know it’s not enough to adopt new policies and practices; the hard work lies in implementing them well in ways that truly benefit students and teachers.
That’s where much of the work lies in the years ahead, and we plan to stay in this work for the long haul, while continuing to push the envelope on what’s possible.
The College Ready team has a staff of around 78 and focuses on K-12 education, with a primary emphasis on secondary education (i.e., grades 6-12).
We work in partnership with our Postsecondary Success team, led by Daniel Greenstein, which focuses on helping young adults earn a postsecondary degree or credential with value in the workplace. Similarly our US Advocacy and Communication’s teams provide cross-team expertise to advance our work in K-12 and postsecondary education.