Regional personalized learning funds, which connect foundations and local grantmakers to schools and their leaders, have launched or expanded most personalized and blended models thus far. But do such regional initiatives foster innovation or school improvement? In some cases, the answer may be yes. The performance of the schools in Silicon Schools’ portfolio, for example, consistently outpaces both state and local district performance on annual tests, as well as the average performance at California charter schools. While a low-income student in California is 42 points below proficiency on state assessments on average, students attending schools backed by Silicon Schools score 15 points above proficiency on average. Critically, more than two-thirds of students attending schools backed by the fund are from low-income families. To learn more about regional personalized learning funds, check out “Kickstarters for Personalized Learning” by Julie Landry Petersen.

—Education Next

Last updated May 31, 2018