Standards News in Brief

GE Foundation Gives Grant For Common-Core Work

By Catherine Gewertz — February 07, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Links to information about the grant are provided at

The grant is one of the biggest that the Fairfield, Conn.-based foundation has made in education in five decades, its president and chairman, Robert L. Corcoran, said during a conference call to announce the grant last week. It has been working closely with seven school districts to improve mathematics and science instruction in recent years, and has made five-year grants of between $20 million and $25 million to some of them on specific projects, he said.

But the four-year grant to Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit based in New York City, is an investment in “infrastructure,” to enable “something that can help millions of children” over many years, Mr. Corcoran said.

A key aim of the new grant is to create “immersion institutes” to deepen and spread understanding of the standards and develop “teacher champions” who can work to implement them with colleagues around the country, officials from the philanthropy and the nonprofit said.

Some of the grant money will be used to work directly with teachers nationally, in person and online, to produce examples of good instruction on the standards. Some of it will be used to build a new website,, with free resources for teachers. The site already includes videotapes of instructional units in math and English/language arts, and will expand to include other resources as well.

The GE Foundation has also provided grant support for Education Week’s coverage of science, technology, engineering, and math education.

David Coleman, a co-founder and the CEO of Student Achievement Partners and one of the lead writers of the common standards in English/language arts, said that the organization will collaborate with teachers and national teachers’ unions, and groups such as the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of the Great City Schools, to develop and share resources that will help “make the common core real” for teachers.

Whatever Student Achievement Partners develops in support of the common standards will be available for free, Mr. Coleman said. On, SAP says that it will not hold any intellectual-property rights in what it develops, will not accept money from publishers, and will not compete for state and district contracts. Mr. Coleman said that those principles apply to all its common-core work.

The nonprofit also has three contracts with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, worth $4.1 million total, to do common-core-related work. (Both foundations also provide grants for Education Week.)

The nonprofit was founded by three of the lead writers of the common standards: Mr. Coleman and Susan Pimentel in English/language arts, and Jason Zimba in math.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2012 edition of Education Week as GE Foundation Gives Grant For Common-Core Work


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Standards Opinion How the Failure of the Common Core Looked From the Ground
Steve Peha shares insights from his on-site professional-development work about why the common core failed, in a guest letter to Rick Hess.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards Opinion Common Core Is a Meal Kit, Not a Nothingburger
Caroline Damon argues Rick Hess and Tom Loveless sold the common core short, claiming the issue was a matter of high-quality implementation.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
Standards Opinion After All That Commotion, Was the Common Core a Big Nothingburger?
The Common Core State Standards may not have had an impact on student outcomes, but they did make school improvement tougher and more ideological.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty