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NGLC Pumps Funding into Ed Tech Focused on Common Core

The Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative has awarded $7 million to education technology programs focused on Common Core State Standards.

The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) is a program led by the education organization Educause and is supported by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), iNacol (the International Association for K-12 Online Learning), the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Gates Foundation in particular has pumped considerable funding into the promotion of Common Core State Standards, including, most recently, $3 million in April to a joint effort with Pearson to develop curriculum centered on Common Core and $3 million to ASCD (also in April) to promote Common Core among teachers.

Common Core State Standards are designed to provide a national, consistent set of academic standards as an alternative to those previously developed by individual states. As of this writing, 42 states, along with the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands, have adopted the standards, according to information posted on the CCSS site.

All told, 19 programs will share in the latest round ("Wave II") of NGLC K-12 grants. All of the programs that received funding are technology-centric and focus on middle school and early high school math and literacy, with the aim of boosting student competence in alignment with Common Core State Standards in those disciplines. Winning programs are all "proof-of-concept and the early-stage adoption of programs."

"We need to enhance our country's educational system in ways that engage students both inside and outside of the classroom and provide them with the 21st century skills required for today's workforce," said Ira Fuchs, executive director of the Next Generation Learning Challenges, in a statement released today. "The innovative work of our grantees demonstrates how the thoughtful application of technology can help us achieve these goals."

Winning organizations included universities, K-12 education organizations, and private companies. Those programs included:

"We believe learning technologies and next generation design models can produce transformative change for students by personalizing learning, and making it more meaningful by relating to their passions and interests," said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL, in a prepared statement. "Next Generation Learning Challenges is focused on supporting and bringing together innovators that can help foster adoption of the most promising approaches to dramatically increase the learning power of all of today's students."

"Next Generation Learning Challenges is exciting because it will expand leading learning innovations to more students and teachers, and will allow the field to demonstrate new models that work for students," said Linda Pittenger, director for the CCSSO's Innovation Lab Network, also in a prepared statement. "The program has the potential to significantly accelerate adoption of next generation strategies that put more students on the pathway to college- and career-readiness."

Additional details about the program and Wave II winners can be found on NGLC's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .