The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced $92 million in grants to help students of color and low-income students into college—marking its first major wave of K-12 giving since last fall. The money is divided into 19 separate grants that will support improvements in everything from middle school language arts, to Algebra 1, to solving the problem of “undermatching,”—when high-achieving, low-income students select colleges that are less ambitious or rigorous than what their track records qualify them for. “Rather than coming in with a bright, shiny new idea, we’re asking districts, schools, and intermediaries to look at investments they’ve already made, and we’re trying to make that last-mile investment that enables them to connect their work, to set the strategies or data that will enable them to be successful for students,” said Robert Hughes, the foundation’s director of K-12 education. It’s a remarkably different strategy than its past K-12 philanthropy. The foundation received about 530 applications for the first cohort of giving, Gates officials said, and it plans to roll out more grants sometime in the fall. Below are brief descriptions of the 19 winners; all the grants are targeted to help black, Latino, and low-income students.
- Achieve Atlanta
- The Baltimore City school district
- The Bank Street College of Education
- California Education Partners
- The Center for Leadership and Educational Equity
- City Year
- The Community Foundation of Texas
- The Community Center for Education Results
- The CORE Districts
- The High Tech High Graduate School of Education
- The Institute for Learning
- The Network for College Success
- New Visions for Public Schools
- The Northwest Regional Education Service District
- Partners in School Innovation
- Seeding Success
- The Southern Regional Education Board
- Teach Plus
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