Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in “whole-child personalized learning,” reports Benjamin Herold in Ed Week.

The emerging strategy represents a high-stakes effort to bridge longstanding divides between competing visions for improving the nation’s schools. Through their recently established Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the billionaire couple intends to support the development of software that might help teachers better recognize and respond to each student’s academic needs—while also supporting a holistic approach to nurturing children’s social, emotional, and physical development.

The man charged with marrying those two philosophies is former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Education James H. Shelton, now the initiative’s president of education.

“We’ve got to dispel this notion that personalized learning is just about technology,” Shelton said in an exclusive interview with Education Week. “In fact, it is about understanding students, giving them agency, and letting them do work that is engaging and exciting.”

Earlier, Chester E. Finn, Jr. offered advice to Zuckerberg and Chan about the best way to use their wealth to improve K-12 education.

— Education Next

Last updated July 2, 2017