The Learning initiative engages as a convener around innovative ideas for education, a supportive network and catalyst for innovations of many types, a creator of the tools and resources to develop and implement innovation, and a delivery system for programmatic assistance.
- Convener: Moving from an idea – a problem statement, a local innovation, or even a proposed strategic response – into a widely supported effort that carries the potential for lasting change in New Hampshire schools requires a process of building a shared understanding and commitment. The STEM work done by the Foundation and the Governor’s STEM Task Force is a good example. The critical next step to turning recommendations into action is direct day-to-day work with school districts to develop the understanding, commitment and shared vision necessary for action on the ground.
- Support & Catalyst for Innovation: The organization will raise funds and partner with other funders to support the shared vision we build with stakeholders. As it evolves, this funding could include grant making and targeted support and coaching to help schools, districts, and higher education partners succeed. PACE is a good example of a project is a good example of a project that, with this kind of fundraising and implementation support, could transform New Hampshire education.
- Creator of Tools and Resources: In this role, the organization’s goal is to add value to the work as it develops at the department of education or across the State, spreading implementation ideas and examples of success to other districts. The Learning Initiative would bring together diverse organizations to share and learn from the State’s education innovation agenda, as well as develop and disseminate learning to build awareness and deeper ownership for the efforts in the field. The great work some districts are doing in integrating competency-based into their classrooms or gaining parent acceptance for improved report cards or using new assessment tools to reduce the need for testing are innovations that the Learning Initiative could help systematize and propagate.
- Delivery System for Programmatic Assistance: Virtually all strategic innovative change in school districts requires day-to-day guidance and support. As the program grows, the Learning Initiative will build the staff capacity and consultant support needed to help schools make these big changes. The Initiative might send a competency-based coach to work with a district that received a grant for building new technologies to support CBE or coach elementary schools in strengthening math and science in the early grades or understanding the implications of the new science standards or work through the complexities of implementing a new preK program.
The kind of support the Learning Initiative could provide will make the difference between announcing change and making change.