Breakthrough Models in Education Grants
NGLC's third and fourth grant competitions support educators and innovators who have a vision for highly engaging, technology-enabled learning pathways that a) span secondary school through postsecondary completion and b) prepare students for economic, social, and civic success.
The grant competitions are now closed, but these waves of funding have sought approaches that could help all students—but especially low-income students and students of color—develop the skills and knowledge they need to lead successful lives. Models that have a clear, sustainable expansion or adoption plan to meet the need have risen to the top of our list.
WAVE III A: Breakthrough Models for College Readiness (K-12) launched in October 2011 and awarded grant funding to 20 school operators developing new, personalized, competency-based, blended learning whole school models.
WAVE III B: Breakthrough Models for College Completion (postsecondary) also launched in October 2011 and awarded grant funding to ten postsecondary institutions developing new, personalized, learning science-based, blended learning degree programs.
WAVE IV: Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness was announced in February 2013 to extend the goals of Wave IIIa by supporting more personalized, competency-based, blended learning whole school models and encouraging a more diverse portfolio of schools and school developers. This grant competition involved two types of grants—Launch and Planning grants.
BREAKTHROUGH SCHOOLS REGIONAL FUND was announced in September 2013 to accelerate K-12 personalized, competency-based, blended learning whole school models in selected metropolitan areas. The Regional Fund began initially in two cities--Washington, D.C. and Chicago--and is expected to expand to additional cities in 2014.
Applicants have been asked to submit the following in lieu of traditional application materials:
- Two minute video introducing the team, the application or the school model (Wave III only)
- 12 slide PowerPoint presentation deck with voiceover
- 5-7 page narrative (Wave IV only)
- Financial model using provided template
- Brief online form based application
The presentation decks for Wave IV applications focused specifically on the school’s academic model. The presentation decks for Wave III served as summary business plans and addressed the following subjects:
- Founding, planning and management team
- What is the problem and need that your school model will address?
- How does your model’s design differ from, contribute to or complement related work in the field? Where does it sit in the broader landscape?
- Academic model - how does your model personalize learning for all students and prepare them for college and career readiness?
- Assessment of primary risks and mitigation strategies
- What is the status of work to date?
- Organization structure and capacity to implement and administer the proposed work
- Start-up strategy
- Cost efficiency and sustainability of model
- Growth plan and development roadmap
Those selected as finalists were asked to respond to questions posed by reviewers after reviewing initial application materials. Finalists submitted:
- Revised narrated presentation deck
- Narrative explicitly responding to specific reviewer questions and general questions around personalization, competency framework and scheduling
- Extended financial model and description of financial assumptions using templates provided