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Expeditionary Learning Receives $12 Million Investing in Innovation Grant

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    April Hattori

For the past 20 years in over 30 states, Expeditionary Learning has demonstrated that when students and teachers are engaged in work that is challenging, adventurous, and meaningful, learning and achievement flourish.  Building on that foundation, Expeditionary Learning, a leading K-12 non-profit at the forefront of the movement to raise expectations and outcomes for students, teachers, and schools, has received a $12 million U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to demonstrate a model of professional learning for novice teachers that is scalable across the country.

The U.S. Department of Education named Expeditionary Learning one of 7  “Highest-Rated Validation level” applications to receive an i3 grant. The funding will enable Expeditionary Learning to build the capacity of novice teachers, and all teachers, to engage students in rich curricula in order to enable Deeper Learning—defined as the competencies that students need to succeed in work and life—and required by the new Common Core State Standards.

 “We believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform teaching practice at scale across the nation. Expeditionary Learning’s proven model is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of the Common Core and raise the quality of work students do in the classroom to match the skills they need in the real world,” said Scott Hartl, president & CEO of Expeditionary Learning. “We are already seeing strong interest in our open-source curriculum from states and districts and the i3 funding will enable us to meet this demand.”

With Expeditionary Learning’s literacy curriculum as the entry point and the common course of study, novice teachers will work alongside experienced practitioners in a blended model of face-to-face coaching and online learning experiences. The Expeditionary Learning model puts novice and veteran teachers in the role of active learners, prioritizes teacher collaboration and respects teachers and school leaders as creative agents in their classrooms.   Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum and professional learning supports are designed for broad adoption and will be validated in a research study conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, focused on teacher impact and student outcomes.

Over the grant period from Winter 2014 to Spring 2018, Expeditionary Learning will use i3 funds to deepen the implementation its state-of-the-art curriculum in diverse locations, including New York City, Newark, NJ; Hartford, CT; Greece, NY; as well as rural districts in upstate New York.