Personalized Learning

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Gives More for Personalized Learning at State Level

By Benjamin Herold — May 11, 2017 2 min read
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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is funding the education-reform group Chiefs for Change, as both groups seek to grow state- and district-level support for personalized learning.

Neither group would confirm the amount of the grant award.

CZI is the investment and philanthropy arm of pediatrician Priscilla Chan and her husband Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of social media giant Facebook. Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit network of state and district education leaders that focuses on school choice, diversifying the ranks of education leadership, and digital learning, among other issues.

Read more on Mark Zuckerberg’s multi-billion dollar commitment to personalized learning.

In statements provided to Education Week, both groups touted the Every Student Succeeds Act as an impetus for the grant.

“There’s a unique opportunity to take advantage of innovation in the education sector,” wrote a spokeswoman for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “In hopes of providing districts with additional flexibility to innovate, CZI is supporting a number of states in their planning and implementation efforts.”

The money will be used to support a new “Transforming Schools and Systems Workgroup,” according to Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee.

“This workgroup will provide an opportunity for our members, with support from their peers, to develop a vision and strategy to redesign schools to better align schools with their ambitious goals for all kids,” Magee wrote in a statement.

Chiefs for Change originally grew out of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The group initially consisted of just state education chiefs. Its early focus on issues such as test-based teacher evaluation and A-F grading systems for schools made it an occasional lightning rod for criticism.

More recently, Chiefs for Change has moved to add well over a dozen district leaders and shifted its policy focus to ESSA implementation.

The grant marks CZI’s second significant effort in recent months to support personalized learning at the state level. In February, Education Week reported that the group is supporting related work in Rhode Island.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.