Delivering on the Promise: The Education Revolution

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Charitable contributions.

Unknown education revolution

Overall numbers for K donations are much smaller and more difficult to track. Family and private foundations make up 66 percent of grantmakers, followed by community foundations 12 percent , and corporate funders 8 percent total from corporate foundations and giving programs. Grantmakers for Education asked funders to identify where they are focusing their policy investments. In the study, three issues rose to the top: early childhood education, school finance and funding, and college and career readiness. Private investment in education technology companies.

Not all non-governmental investment in education comes from philanthropic sources. There are a growing number of players, including venture capitalists, angel investors, corporations, and private equity investors, who are betting that investments in education can also be profitable. The availability of education crowdfunding websites allows individuals to contribute to very specific efforts. Sites such as DonorsChoose. The new societal wavemakers influence on education goes beyond the dollars invested; they also make an impact when they bring people together, either formally or informally, to share information and ideas and to brainstorm possible solutions.

TED began in as a conference bringing together people from technology, entertainment, and design.

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When TED started releasing videos of the conference talks online, they rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions. As of November , TED talks had been viewed more than 1 billion times. One hundred forty of those talks focus specifically on education, and some of these have been viewed more than 2 million times.


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TED-Ed has created a platform where users can create, customize, take, and track lessons. Individual corporations have also become important conveners in education. Finally, peer-to-peer networks are important platforms that allow interested individuals or groups to self-convene for the purpose of learning. The Skillshare network, for instance, seeks to bring together teachers and students through online sign-up for in-person, project-based classes for everything from how to bake cupcakes to how to get startup funding. Education has proved to be a very popular cause for many companies, in part because their leaders realize that the current system is not providing the quality of workers they need.

Corporate interest in improving educational outcomes manifests itself in many forms that target different segments of the educational system:. Energy companies have made major investments specifically to support science, technology, engineering, and math STEM education. Firms with interest outside the STEM grouping are also banding together to support education directly related to their industries. The Insurance and Finance Academy, for instance, is a public college preparatory grades 9—12 charter school in Hartford, Connecticut, for students interested in pursuing higher education in the finance and insurance industries.

Career educators are working with education technology creators to find out what really works in the classroom. The federal government is also exploring new models for funding outcomes, rather than projects, in the quest to improve the US educational system. Career educators: In , there were A significant proportion of investment by philanthropic groups is aimed at improving teacher effectiveness in the classroom by providing them with the knowledge and support they need to effectively utilize technology.

Some conveners, for instance, are working to ensure that the best in in-classroom teaching methods are widely disseminated.

The purpose of these awards is to highlight models for others to follow and to spread the best reform ideas across the country. Companies adapting to the new education environment: The private sector has always been a vitally important partner to the public sector in providing learning tools, supplying everything from books, chalkboards, and erasers to e-books, laptops, and collaboration tools. Just as companies in other sectors have had to change, these steady suppliers in education have had to adapt to rapidly changing technological landscapes or risk erosion of their businesses.

Education companies are one of the top 10 fastest-growing industries in the United States, growing by percent between and For example, the market for electronic textbooks is growing by about 50 percent per year. Some of this growth is being fueled by startups, while some is coming from well-established publishing firms that are remaking their companies through strategic investments to compete in an increasingly digitized world.

The solution revolution in education

For instance, Pearson Education, a textbook publisher, has not only expanded into electronic publishing but has also become a significant player in providing online learning and testing services. Pearson recently announced a mobile solution to help students become better writers and communicators, and has partnered with Indiana Wesleyan University to create a digital campus to link educators and students. The progress being made by the steady suppliers described above is being augmented by individuals who see a need and devise and implement a solution.

Recognizing the role of educational inequality in perpetuating the poverty, Wendy Kopp proposed the idea for Teach For America TFA in her Princeton University undergraduate thesis in , and launched the first TFA corps of recent college graduates in Since then, nearly 33, participants have reached more than 3 million children nationwide during their two-year teaching commitments. In the —13 school year, 10, TFA corps members taught , students. In , TFA accepted only 14 percent of applicants for its teaching positions—making gaining admittance to the program harder than winning a seat at Northwestern University, which admitted 18 percent of applicants.

According to a study published by the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly a third of youth from low-income families 29 percent fail to earn high school diplomas, approximately three times more than the percentage of youth from middle-income families 10 percent and roughly six times greater than the percentage of youth from high-income families 5 percent who do not graduate from high school.

Only one in ten youth from low-income families go on to graduate from a four-year college, compared with over a quarter 28 percent of youth from middle-income families and half of youth from high-income families. One in five youth from low-income families 20 percent are charged with an adult crime by the age of 24, which is higher than the number of youth from middle- and high-income families 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Another example of a citizen changemaker is Salman Khan of Khan Academy. Khan was not looking to start a business in when he began tutoring his niece over the telephone and the Internet. However, as more relatives began to be interested in his tutoring services, he decided that it would be more efficient to record a series of videos and post them to YouTube. After working on the idea for Khan Academy part-time, Khan quit his hedge fund job in the fall of to pursue the effort full-time. Using these funds, he began to build out an organization.

Delivering the Promise of Africa’s Youth

Khan Academy is now a c 3 non-profit on a mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy focuses on all learners, including individual grade-school and college students, classroom teachers and students, and adult lifelong learners. It attracts 6 million unique users per month to its 30,plus virtual classrooms, reaching learners in countries 65 percent US, 35 percent non-US. Khan Academy content has been translated into more than 28 languages. In addition to allowing interested individuals to self-convene, peer-to-peer sites have become an important way for citizen changemakers to find each other.

With the advent of sites such as Meetup. Enlisting a new generation of citizen changemakers, creating new organizational structures for steady suppliers, and increasing private funding and awareness will all help move the dial on educational outcomes, particularly in cases where all of these components work together to innovate.

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Each of the different types of wavemakers discussed above is an important force in the quest to improve educational outcomes; however, when various wavemakers join together, the impact is multiplied. Revitalized classrooms: In addition to activities as varied as Teach For America and Race to the Top, another path toward revitalizing education is through the growing number of charter schools.

Public charter schools are a relatively new model for providing education in the K—12 space in which the emphasis is on results rather than process, which makes them ideal laboratories in which to explore new ways of teaching. Authorized in 41 states and the District of Columbia, a public charter school is a publicly funded school that operates independently of most state and local rules and regulations.


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  5. Charter schools enroll a small but growing proportion of American elementary and secondary school students. In the 11 years since public charter schools were authorized, enrollment has grown by percent. In school year —11, California enrolled the most students in charter schools , , and the District of Columbia enrolled the highest percentage of public school students in charter schools 38 percent, representing 27, students. In that same year, more than 10 percent of public school students in Arizona were enrolled in charter schools.

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    A distance education revolution

    Created to serve students in underserved communities, KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment college preparatory public charter schools. Today, the schools in the KIPP network serve 50, students—86 percent from low-income families and 95 percent African-American—in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

    Nationally, more than 80 percent of KIPP alumni have gone to college. Personalized and blended learning: The integration of technology into teaching is an especially important field for innovation. Now, we have reached a crossroads where technology is not simply a means for improving the existing process of learning—it is a means for changing the process of learning. The use of technology in education is moving beyond the point where teachers use computers and Web-based interactive features simply to augment their lesson plans.

    Many different types of flexible learning systems are being developed by a wide variety of participants, working independently or in partnership—and sometimes both. These classes not only allow students flexibility in completing work, but also allow teachers to track the progress of individual students and make timely interventions when needed. Open higher education curricula: At the same time as technology offers the ability to provide a more customized learning experience, it also allows educators to extend the learning experience well beyond classroom walls.

    Coursera currently has over 5 million students who can choose among courses from 90 education partners. According to a recent survey by Babson Survey Research Group, 32 percent of higher education students now take at least one course online. The United States spends more than any other nation on education, but the results have been less than what we should demand.

    More than for any other sector, our strength in education will be the key to our global economic competitiveness. The solution revolution, where innovators across all economic sectors leverage new technological capabilities to effect positive social change, can offer a way forward. There will be fits and starts and plenty of dead ends, but wavemakers in education should be able to make great strides in improving access to and the quality of education. Written by: Dr. Patricia Buckley. See something interesting?

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    Join My Deloitte. The solution revolution in education By Dr. Copublished with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this book focuses on individuals involved in K—12 mathematics education who seek to help children achieve success. The authors tackle popular misconceptions and misguided discourse about mathematics education and draw on View Product.